S. G. and E. L. ELBERT
AMONG THE PINES
UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME,
And by the same Author,
IY SOUTHERN FRIENDS
CLOTH $1.00.— PAPER 75 CTS.
OR SOUTH IN SECESSION-TIME.
AUTHOR OP "MY southern friends."
CA RLE TON, PUBLISHER, 413 BROADWAY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by
J. E. GILMOEE,
the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.
Printer, Stereoiyper, and Electrotyper,
81, 83, arid 85 Centre Street.
RICHARD B. KIMBALL,
THE ACCOMPLISHED AFTHOE, TFB POLISHED GENTLEMAN,
. MY OLD AND EVER- VALUED FRIEND,
THESE SKETCHES A EE DEDICATED
CHAPTER I.— On the Road. — Arrival at Georgetown. — The
Village Inn. — Nocturnal Adventures. — My African Driver. —
His Strange History. — Genuine Negro Songs. — Arrival at
CHAPTER H. — Wayside Hospitality. — A Strange Meeting.
— A Well Ordered Plantation. — A Thunder-storm. — A New
Guest. — The Hidden Springs of Secession Exposed. — On the
Way Again. — Intelligence of the Negro. — Renconter with a
CHAPTER HI. — Crossing the Runs.— -The Black Declines
His Freedom. — His Reasons for so Doing. — A " native " Abo-
litionist. — Swimming the Run. — Black Spirits and White. —
CHAPTER IT. — Poor Whites. — The Mills House.— South Car-
olina Clay-Eaters. — Political Discussion. — President Lincoln a
Negro. — " Three in a Bed and one in the Middle." — $250 re-
ward. — A Secret League 69
CHAPTER V.— On the Plantation.— The Planter's Dwelling.
— His House-Keeper. — The Process of Turpentine Making.
— Loss to Carolina by Secession. — The Dying Boy. — The Story
of Jim. — A Northern Man with Southern Principles. — Sam
Murdered. — Pursuit of the Overseer 94
CHAPTER VL — The Planter's Family.— The old Nurse. —
Her Story. — A White Slave- Woman's Opinion of Slavery. —
The Stables. — The Negro-Quarters. — Sunday Exercises. — The
Taking of Moye 12T
CHAPTER Vn.— Plantation Discipline.— The " Ole Cabin."
— The Mode of Negro Punishment. — The u Thumb-Screw."—
A Ministering AngeL — A Negro Trial. — A Rebellion. — A Tur-
pentine Dealer. — A Boston Dray on its Travels 150
CHAPTER YIH. — The Negro Hunter,— Young Democrats.—
Political Discussion. — Startling Statistics. — A Freed Negro... 169
CHAPTER IX— The Country Church. — Its Description.—
_ The " Corn-Cracker." — The News. — Strange Disclosure 180
CHAPTER X.— The Negro Funeral.— The Burial Ground.—
A Negro Sermon. — The Appearance of Juley. — The Colonel's
Heartlessness. — The Octoroon's Explanation of it. — The Es-
cape of Moye 196
CHAPTER XI.— The Pursuit.— The Start.—" Carolina Race-
Horses." — A Race. — We Lose the Trail. — A Tornado. — A
Narrow Escape. — 207
CHAPTER XII. — The Yankee Schoolmistress. — Our New
Apparel. — " Kissing G-oes by Favor." — Schools at the South... 222
CHAPTER XIIL— The Railway Station.— The Tillage.— A •
Drunken Yankee. — A Narrow Escape. — Andy Jones. — A
Light-Wood Fire. — The Colonel's Departure 221
CHAPTER XIY.— The Barbacue.— The Camp-Ground.— The
Stump-Speaker. — A Stump Speech. — Almost a Fight. — The
Manner of Roasting the Ox 239
CHAPTER XV.— The Return.— Arrival at the Plantation.—
Disappearance of Juley and her child. — The Old Preacher's
Story. — Scene Between the Master and the Slave 253
CHAPTER XYL — "One More Unfortunate."— Attempted
Whipping of Jim. — Appearance of the " Corn-Cracker." —
" Drowned,— Drowned." 260
CHAPTER XYH. — The Small Planter. — His House.— His
Wife. — His Negroes. — A Juvenile Darky. — Lazarus in
" Ab'ram's Buzzum." — White and Black Labor Compared. —
The Mysteries of "Rosum" manufacture 21*1
CHAPTER XVIIL— -The Burial op Jule.— " He Tempers the
Wind to the Shorn Lamb."— The Funeral 295
CHAPTER XIX. — Homeward Bound. — Colonel A
Again. — Parting with Scipio. — Why this Book was Written. 298
CHAPTER XX.— Conclusion.— The Author's Explanations. —
Last News from Moye and Scipio. — Affecting Letter from
Andy Jones.— The End 308
AMONG THE PINES.
ON THE ROAD.
Some winters ago I passed several weeks at Tallahas-
see, Florida, and while there made the acquaintance of
Colonel J , a South Carolina planter. Accident,
some little time later, threw us together again at Charles-
ton, when I was gratified to learn that he would be my
compagnon du voyage as far north as Xew York.
He was accompanied by his body-servant, " Jim," a
fine specimen of the genus darky, about thirty years of
age, and born and reared in his master's family. As
far as possible we made the journey by day, stopping
at some convenient resting-place by night ; on which
occasions the Colonel, Jim, and myself would occupy
the same or adjoining apartments, "we white folks"
sleeping on four posts, while the more democratic negro
spread his blanket on the floor. Thrown together thus
AMONG THE PINES.
intimately, it was but natural that we should learn much
of each other.
The " Colonel" was a highly cultivated and intelligent *
gentleman, and during this journey a friendship sprung
up between us— afterward kept alive by a regular coi-
respondence — which led him, with his wife and daugh-
ter, and the man Jim, to my house on his next visit at
the North, one year later. I then promised — if I >
should ever again travel in South Carolina — to visit
him on his plantation in the extreme north-eastern part
of the state.
In December last, about the time of the passage of
the ordinance of secession, I had occasion to visit
Charleston, and, previous to setting out, dispatched a
letter to the Colonel with the information that I was
ready to be led of him " into the wilderness." On ar-
riving at the head-quarters of secession, I found a
missive awaiting me, in which my friend cordially re-
newed his previous tender of hospitality, gave me par-
ticular directions how to proceed, and stated that his
" man Jim" would meet me with a carriage at George-
town, and convey me thence, seventy miles, to " the
Having performed the busmess which led me to
Charleston, I set out for the rendezvous five days be-
fore the date fixed for the meeting, intending to occupy
the intervening time in an exploration of the ancient
town and its surroundings.
The little steamer Nina (a cross between a full-
ON THE ROAD.
grown nautilus and a half-grown tub), which a few
weeks later was enrolled as the first man-of-war of the
Confederate navy, then performed the carrying trade
between the two principal cities of South Carolina.
On her, together with sundry boxes and bales, and
certain human merchandise, I embarked. at Charleston,
and on a delicious morning, late in December, landed
As the embryo war-steamer rounded up to the long,
low, rickety dock, lumbered breast-high with cotton,
turpentine, and rosin, not a white face was to be seen.
A few half-clad, shiftless-looking negroes, lounging idly
about, were the only portion of the population in wait-
ing to witness our landing.
" Are all the people dead ?" I inquired of one of
them, thinking it strange that an event so important
as the arrival of the Charleston packet should excite
no greater interest in so quiet a town. " Not dead,
massa," replied the black, with a knowing chuckle,
" but dey'm gettin' ready for a fun'ral." " What fu-
neral ?" I asked. " Why, dey'm gwine to shoot all de
boblition darkies at de 1ST orf, and hab a brack burying ;
he ! he !" and the sable gentleman expanded the open-
ing in his countenance to an enormous extent, doubt-
less at the brilliancy of his wit.
I asked him to take my portmanteau, and conduct
me to the best hotel. He readily assented, " Yas, yas,
•massa, I show you whar de big-bugs stop ;" but at
once turning to another darky standing near, he ac-
AMONG THE PINES.
costed him with, " Here, Jim, you lazy nigga, tote de
"Why don't you take them yourself?" I asked;
"you will then get all the pay." "No, no, massa;
dat nigga and me in partenship ; he do de work, and
I keeps de change," was the grinning reply, and it ad-
mirably illustrates a peculiarity I have observed to be
universal with the negro. When left to his own di-
rection, he invariably " goes into partenship" with some
one poorer than himself, and no matter how trivial the
task, shirks all the labor he can.
The silent darky and my portmanteau in the van,
and the garrulous old negro guarding my flank, I
wended my way through the principal street to the
hotel. On the route I resumed the conversation :
" So, uncle, you say the people here are getting
ready for a black burying ?"
" Yas, massa, gwine to bury all dem mis'able free
niggas at de Norf."
"Why? What will you do that for?"
" Why for, massa ! you ax why for !" he exclaimed
" I don't know," I rejoined ; " I'm a stranger here."
" Well, you see, massa, dem boblition niggas up dar
hab gone and 'lected a ole darky, dey call Uncle Abe ;
and Old Abe he'se gwine to come down Souf, and cut
de decent niggas' troats. He'll hab a good time — he
will J My young massa's captin ob de sogers, and he'll
cotch de ole coon, and string him up so high de crows
ON THE "ROAD.
won't scent him; yas, he will;" and again the old
darky's face opened till it looked like the entrance to
Ihe Mammoth Cave. He, evidently, had read the
Depositing my luggage at the hotel, which I found
on a side street — a dilapidated, unpainted_ wooden build-
ing, with a female landlord — I started out to explore
the town, till the hour for dinner. Retracing my steps
in the direction of the steamboat landing, I found the
streets nearly deserted, although it was the hour when
the business of the day is usually transacted. Soon I
discovered the cause. The militia of the place were
out on parade. Preceded by a oolored band, playing
national airs — in doleful keeping with the occasion —
and followed by a motley collection of negroes of all
sexes and ages, the company was entering the principal
thoroughfare. As it passed me, I could judge of the
prowess of the redoubtable captain, who, according to
Pompey, will hang the President " so high de crows
won't scent him." He was a harmless-looking young
man, with long, spindle legs, admirably adapted to run-
ning. Though not formidable in other respects, there was
a certain martial air about an enormous sabre which hung
at his side, and occasionally got entangled in his nether
integuments, and a fiery, warlike look to the heavy tuft
of reddish hair which sprouted in bristling defiance
from his upper lip.
The company numbered about seventy, some with
uniforms and some without, and bearing all sorts of
14 AMONG THE PINES.
ari^, from the old flint-lock musket to the modern re-
volving rifle. They were, however, sturdy fellows, and
looked as if they might do service at " the imminent
deadly breach*" Their full ranks taken from a popula-
tion of less than five hundred whites, told unmistakably
the intense war feeling of the community.
Georgetown is one of the oldest towns in South Car-
olina, and it has a decidedly finished appearance. Not
a single building, I was informed, had been erected
there in five years. Turpentine is one of the chief pro-
ductions of the district ; yet the cost of white lead and
chrome yellow has made paint a scarce commodity, and
the houses, consequently, all wear a dingy, decayed
look. Though situated on a magnificent bay, a little
below the confluence of three noble rivers, which drain
a country of surpassing richness, and though the centre
of the finest rice-growing district in the world, the
town is dead. Every thing about it wears an air of
dilapidation. The few white men you meet in its
streets, or see lounging lazily around its stores and
warehouses, appear to lack all purpose and energy.
Long contact with the negro seems to have given them
his shiftless, aimless character.
The ordinance of secession passed the legislature
shortly prior to my arrival, and, as might be ex-
pected, the political situation was the all-engrossing
topic of thought and conversation. In the estimation
of the whites a glorious future was about to open on
the little state. Whether she stood alone, or sup-
ON THE ROAD. 15
ported by the other slave states, she would assume
a high rank among the nations of the earth ; her cot-
ton and rice would draw trade and wealth from every
land, and when she spoke, creation would tremble. Such
overweening state pride in such a people — shiftless,
indolent, aria enervated as they are — strikes a stranger
as in the last degree ludicrous ; but when they tell you,
in the presence of the black, whose strong brawny arm
and sinewy frame show that in him lies the real strength
of the state, that this great empire is to be built on the
i shoulders of the slave, your smile of incredulity gives
way to an expression of pity, and you are tempted to
ask if those sinewy machines may not think, and some
day rise, and topple down the mighty fabric which is to
be reared on their backs !
Among the " peculiar institutions" of the South are
its inns. I do not refer to the pinchbeck, imitation St.
Nicholas establishments, which flourish in the larger
cities, but to those home-made affairs, noted for hog and
hominy, corn-cake and waffles, which crop out here and
there in the smaller towns, the natural growth of South-
ern life and institutions. A model of this class is the
one* at Georgetown. Hog, hominy, and corn-cake for
breakfast ; waffles, hog, and hominy for dinner ; and
hog, hominy, and corn-cake for supper — and such corn-
cake, baked in the ashes of the hearth, a plentiful sup-
ply of the grayish condiment still clinging to it ! — is
its never-varying bill of fare. I endured this fare for
a day, how, has ever since been a mystery to me, but
AMONG THE PINES.
when night came my experiences were indescribable.
Retiring early, to get the rest needed to fit me for a
long ride on the morrow, I soon realized that "there
is no rest for the wicked," none, at least, for sinners
at the South. Scarcely had my head toucted the pil-
low when I was besieged by an army ^ red-coated
secessionists, who set upon me without mercy. I with-
stood the assault manfully, till " bleeding at every pore,"
and then slowly and sorrowfully beat a retreat. Ten
. tlj^msand to one is greater odds than the gallant Ander-
son encountered at Sumter. Yet I determined not to
fully abandon the field. Placing three chairs in a row,
I mounted upon them, and in that seemingly impregna-
ble position hurled defiance at the enemy, in the words
of Scott (slightly altered to suit the occasion) :
" Come one, come all, these chairs shall fly
From their firm base as soon as I."
My exultation, however, was of short duration. The
persistent foe, scaling my intrenchments, soon re-
turned to the assault with redoubled vigor, and in
utter despair I finally fled. Groping my way through
the hall, and out of the street-door, I departed. The
Sable Brother — alias the. Son of Ham — alias the Image
of God carved in Ebony — alias the Oppressed Type —
alias the Contraband — alias the Irrepressible Nigger —
alias the Chattel — alias the Darky — alias the Cullud
Pusson — had informed me that I should find the Big
Bugs at that hotel. I had found them.
ON THE ROAD.
Staying longer in such a place was out of the ques-
tion, and I determined to make my way to the up-
country without longer waiting for J'uru With the
first streak of day I sallied out to find the means of
The ancient town boasts no public conveyance, ex-
cept a one-horse gig that carries the mail in tri-weekly
trips to Charleston. That vehicle, originally used by
some New England doctor, in the early part of the
past century, had but one seat, and besides, was not*.
going the way I intended to take, so I was forced to
seek a conveyance at a livery-stable. At the only
livery establishment in the place, kept by a " cullud
pusson," who, though a slave, owns a stud of horses
that might, among a people more movingly, inclined,
yield a respectable income, I found what I wanted — a
light Newark buggy, and a spanking gray. Provided
with these, and a darky driver, who was to accompany
me to my destination, and return alone, I started. A
trip of seventy miles is something of an undertaking in
that region, and quite a crowd gathered around to wit-
ness our departure, not a soul of whom, I will wager,
will ever hear the rumble of a stage-coach, or the whis-
tle of a steam-car, in those sandy, deserted streets.
We soon left the village, and struck a broad avenue,
lined on either side by fine old trees, and extending in an
air-line for several miles. The road is skirted by broad
rice-fields, and these are dotted here and there by large
antiquated houses, and little collections of negro huts.
AMONG THE PINES.
It was Christmas week; no hands were busy in Mie
fields, and every thing wore the aspect of Sunday. We
had ridden a few miles when suddenly the road sunk
into a deep, broad stream, called, as the driver told me,
the Black River. No appliance for crossing being at
hand, or in sight, I was about concluding that some
modern Moses accommodated travellers by passing them
over its bed dry-shod, when a flat-boat shot out from
the jungle on the opposite bank, and pulled toward us.
It was built of two-inch plank, and manned by two in-
firm darkies, with frosted wool, who seemed to need all
their strength to sit upright. In that leaky craft, kept
afloat by incessant baling, we succeeded, at the end ol
an hour, in crossing the river. And this, be it under
stood, is travelling in one of the richest districts of South
We soon left the region of the rice-fields, and plunged
into dense forests of the long-leafed pine, wh«re for miles
not a house, or any other evidence of human occupa
tion, is to be seen. Nothing could well be more dreary
than a ride through such a region, and to while away
the tedium of the journey I opened a conversation with
the driver, who up to that time had maintained a re-
He was a genuine native African, and a most original
and interesting specimen of his race. His thin, close-
cut lips, straight nose and European features contrasted
strangely with a skin of ebon blackness, and the quiet,
simple dignity of his maimer betokened superior intel-
ON THE ROAD.
ligence. His story was a strange one. When a boy,
lie was with his mother, kidnapped by a hostile tribe,
and sold to the traders at Cape Lopez, on the western
coast of Africa. There, in the slave-pen, the mother
died, and he, a child of seven years, was sent in th
slave-ship to Cuba. At Havana, when sixteen, he at-
tracted the notice of a gentleman residing in Charleston,
who bought him and took him to " the States." He
lived as house-servant in the family of this gentleman
till 1855, when his master died, leaving him a legacy to
a daughter. This lady, a kind, indulgent mistress, had
since allowed him to " hire his time," and he then car-
ried on an " independent business," as porter, and doer
of all work around the wharves and streets of George-
town. He thus gained a comfortable living, besides
paying to his mistress one hundred and fifty dollars
yearly for the privilege of earning his own support.
In every way he was a remarkable negro, and my three
days' acquaintance with him banished from my mind all
doubt as to the capacity of the black for freedom, and
all question as to the disposition of the slave to strike
off his chains when the favorable moment arrives. From
him I learned that the blacks, though pretending ignor-
ance, are fully acquainted with the questions at issue in
the pending contest. He expressed the opinion, that
war would come in Consequence of the stand South Car-
olina had taken ; and when I said to him : " But if it
comes you will be no better off. It will end in a com-
promise, and leave you where you are." He answered :
AMONG THE PINES.
" No, inassa, 't wont do dat. De Souf will fight hard,
and de Norf will get de blood up, and come down har,
and do 'way wid de cause ob all de trubble — and dat
am de nigga."
"But," I said, "perhaps the South will drive the
North back ; as you say, they will fight hard."
"Dat dey will, massa, dey'm de fightin' sort, but
dey can't whip de Norf, 'cause you see dey'll fight wid
only one hand. When dey fight de Norf wid de right
hand, dey'll hev to hold de nigga wid de leff."
" But," I replied, " the blacks wont rise ; most of
you have kind masters and fare well."
"Dat's true, massa, but dat an't freedom, and de
black lub freedom as much as de white. De same
blessed Lord made dem both, and He made dem all
'like, 'cep de skin. De blacks hab strong hands, and
when de day come you'll see dey hab heads, too !"
Much other conversation, showing him possessed of a
high degree of intelligence, passed between us. In answer
to my question if he had a family, he said : " No, sar.
My blood shall neber be slaves ! Ole massa flog me and
threaten to kill me 'cause I wouldn't take to de wim-
min; but I tole him to kill, dat 't would be more his
loss dan mine."
I asked if the negroes generally felt as he did, and he
told me that many did ; that nearly all would fight for
their freedom if they had the opportunity, though some
preferred slavery because they were sure of being cared
for when old and infirui, not considering that if their
ON THE KOAD.
labor, while they were strong, made their masters rich,
the same labor would afford them provision against old
age. J3e told me that there are in the district of George-
town twenty thousand blacks, and not more than two
thousand whites, and " Suppose," he added, " dat one-
quarter ob dese niggas rise — de rest keep still — whar
den would de white folks be ?"
u Of course, 55 I replied, " they would be taken at a
disadvantage ; but it would not be long before aid came
from Charleston, and you would be overpowered. 55
" No, massa, de chivarly, as you call dem, would be
5 way in Virginny, and 5 fore dey hard of it Massa Seward
would hab troops 5 nough in Georgetown to chaw up de
hull state in less dan no time. 55
" But you have no leaders, 55 I said, u no one to direct
the movement. Your race is not a match for the white
in generalship, and without generals, whatever your
numbers, you would fare hardly. 55
To this he replied, an elevated enthusiasm lighting up
his face, " De Lord, massa, made generals ob Gideon
and David, and de brack man know as much 5 bout war
as dey did ; p 5 raps, 55 he added, with a quiet humor,
" de brack aint equal to de white. I knows most ob de
great men, like Washington and John and James and
Paul, and dem ole fellers war white, but dar war Two
Sand (Tousaint L^verture), de Brack Douglass, and
de Nigga Demus (Nicodemus), dey wax brack. 55
The argument was unanswerable, and I said nothing.
If the day which sees the rising of the Southern blacks
AMONG THE PINES.
comes to this generation, that negro will be among the
leaders. He sang to me several of the songs current
among the negroes of the district, and though of little
poetic value, they interested me, as indicating the feel-
ings of the slaves. The blacks are a musical race, and
the readiness with which many of them improvise words
and melody is wonderful ; but I had met none who pos-
sessed the readiness of my new acquaintance. Several
of the tunes he repeated several times, and each time
with a new accompaniment of words. % will try to
render the sentiment of a few of these songs into as
good negro dialect as I am master of, but I cannot hope
to repeat the precise words, or to convey the indescriba-
ble humor and pathos which my darky friend threw in-
to them, and which made our long, solitary ride through
those dreary pine-barrens pass rapidly and pleasantly
away. The first referred , to an ^)ld darky who was
transplanted from the cotton-fields of " ole Virginny"
to the rice-swamps of Carolina, and who did not like
the change, but found consolation in the fact that rice is
not grown on " the other side of Jordan."
" Come listen, all you darkies, come listen to my song,
It am about ole Massa, who use me bery wrong :
In de cole, frosty mornin', it an't so bery nice,
"Wid de water to de middle to hoe among de rice ;
When I neber hab forgotten
How I used to hoe de cotton,
How I used to hoe de cotton,
' On de ole Yirginny shore ;
ON THE ROAD.
But I'll neber hoe de cotton,
Oh! neber hoe de cotton
If I feel de drefful hunger, he tink it am a vice,
And he gib me for my dinner a little broken rice,
A little broken rice and a bery little fat —
And he grumble like de debil if I eat too much of dat;
"When I neber hab forgotten, etc.
He tore me 'from my Den t ah; I tought my heart would burst- -
He made me lub anoder when my lub was wid de first,
He sole my picanninnies becase he got dar price,
And shut me in de marsh-field to hoe among de rice ;
"When I neber had forgotten, etc.
And all de day I hoe dar, in all de heat and rain,
And as I hoe away dar, my heart go back again,
Back to de little cabin dat stood among de corn,
And to de ole plantation where she and I war born !
Oh ! I wish I had forgotten, etc.
11 Den Dinah am beside me, de chil'ren on my knee,
And dough I am a slave dar, it 'pears to me I'm free,
Till I wake up from my dreaming, and wife and chil'ren gone,
I hoe away and weep dar, and weep dar all alone !
Oh ! I wish I had forgotten, etc.
1 But soon a day am comin, a day I long to see,
When dis darky in de cole ground, foreber will be free,
"When wife and chil'ren wid me, I'll sing in Paradise,
How He, de blessed Jesus, hab bought me wid a price ;
How de Lord hab not forgotten
How well I hoed de cotton,
How well I hoed de cotton
On de ole Yirginny shore ;
AMONG THE PINES.
Dar I'll neber hoe de cotton,
Oh ! neber hoe de cotton
The politics of the following are not exactly those of
the rulers at Washington, but we all may come to this
complexion at last :
* 1 Hark! darkies, hark! it am de drum
Bat calls ole Massa 'way from hum,
Wid powder-pouch and loaded gun,
To drive ole Abe from Washington ;
Oh! Massa's gwine to Washington,
So clar de way to Washington —
Oh ! wont dis darky hab sum fun
When Massa's gwine to Washington !
M Dis darky know what Massa do ;
He take him long to brack him shoe,
To brack him shoe and tote him gun,
When he am 'way to Washington.
Oh ! Massa's gwine to Washington,
So clar de way to Washington,
Oh! long afore de mornin' sun
Ole Massa's gwine to Washington !
" Ole Massa say ole Abb will eat .
De niggas all excep' de feet —
De feet, may be, will cut and run,
When Massa gets to Washington,
When Massa gets to Washington;
So clar de way to Washington —
Oh ! wont dis darky cut and run
# When Massa gets to Washington!
ON the eoad.
" Dis nigga know ole Abe will save
His brudder man, de darky slare,
And dat he'll let him cut and run
When Massa gets to Washington,
When Massa gets to Washington ;
So clar de way to Washington,
Ole Abe will let the darkies run -
When Massa gets to Washington."
The next is in a similar vein :
" A storm am brewin' in de Souf,
A storm am brewin' now,
Oh I hearken den and shut your mouf^
And I will tell you how :
And I will tell you how, ole boy,
De storm of fire will pour,
And make de darkies dance for joy,
As dey neber danced afore :
So shut your mouf as close as deafh,
And all you niggas hole your breafh.
And I will tell you how.
" De darkies at de Norf am ris,
And dey am comin' down —
Am comin' down, I know dey is,
To do de white folks brown !
Dey'll turn ole Massa out to grass,
And set de niggas free,
And when dat day am come to pass
We'll all be dar to see !
So shut your mouf as close as death,
And 'all you niggas hole your breafh,
And do de white folks brown I
AMONG THE PINES.
M Den all de week will be as gay
As am de Chris'mas time ;
"We'll dance all night and all de day,
And make de banjo chime —
And make de banjo chime, I tink,
And pass de time away,
Wid 'nuf to eat and 'nuf to drink,
And not a bit to pay !
So shut your mouf as close as deafh,
And all you niggas hole your breaf,
And make de banjo chime.
M Oh ! make de banjo chime, you nigs,
And sound de tamborin,
And shuffle now de merry jigs,
For Massa's ' gwine in' —
For Massa's 1 gwine in,' I know,
And won't he hab de shakes,
When Yankee darkies show him how
Dey cotch de rattle-snakes !*
So shut your mouf as close as deafh,
And all you niggas hole your breaf,
For Massa's ' gwine in' —
For Massa's 1 gwine in,' I know,
And won't he hab de shakes
When Yankee darkies show him how
Dey cotch de rattle-snakes I"
The reader must not conclude that my darky acquaint-
ance is an average specimen of his class. Far from it.
Such instances of intelligence are very rare, and are
* The emblem of South Carolina.
ON THE ROAD.
never found except in the cities. There, constant inter-
course with the white renders the black shrewd and in-
telligent, but on the plantations, the case is different.
And besides, my musical friend, as I have said, is a
native African. Fifteen years of observation have con-
vinced me that the imported negro, after being brought
in contact with the white, is far more intelligent than
the ordinary Southern-born black. Slavery cramps the
intellect and dwarfs the nature of a man, and where
the dwarfing process has gone on, in father and son,
for two centuries, it must surely be the case — as surely
as that the qualities of the parent are transmitted to the
child — that the later generations are below the first.
This deterioration in the better nature of the slave is
the saddest result of slavery. His moral and intel-
lectual degradation, which is essential to its very
existence, constitutes the true argument against it.
It feeds the body but starves the soul. It blinds
the reason, and shuts the mind to truth. It degrades
and brutalizes the whole being, and does it pur-
posely. In that lies its strength, and in that, too,
lurks the weakness which will one day topple it
down with a crash that will shake the Continent.
Let us hope the direful upheaving, which is now felt
throughout the Union, is the earthquake that will bury
The sun was wheeling below the -trees which skirted
the western horizon, when we halted in the main road,
abreast of one of those by-paths, which every traveller
AMONG THE PINES.
at the South recognizes as leading to a planter's house
Turning our horse's head, we pursued this path for a
short distance, when emerging from the pine-forest, over
whose sandy barrens w,e had ridden all the day, a broad
plantation lay spread out before us. On one side was
a row of perhaps forty small but neat cabins ; and on
the other, at the distance of about a third of a mile, a
huge building, which, from the piles of timber near it, I
saw was a lumber-mill. Before us was a smooth cause-
way, extending on for a quarter of a mile, and shaded
by large live-oaks and pines, whose moss fell in graceful
drapery from the gnarled branches. This led to the
mansion of the proprietor, a large, antique structure, ex-
hibiting the dingy appearance which all houses near the
lowlands of the South derive from the climate, but with
a generous, hospitable air about its wide doors and bulky
windows, that seemed to invite the traveller to the rest
and shelter within. I had stopped my horse, and was
absorbed in contemplation of a scene as beautiful as it
was new to me, when an old negro approached, and
touching his hat, said : " Massa send his comphmens to
de gemman, and happy to hab him pass de night at
"Bucksm7fe/" I exclaimed, "and where is the village?"
# "Dis am it, massa; and it am eight mile and a hard
road to de 'Boro" (meaning Conwayboro, a one-horse
village at which I had designed to spend the night).
"Will de gemman please ride up to de piazza?" con-
tinued the old negro.
ON THE ROAD.
" Yes, uncle, and thank you," and in a moment I had
received the cordial welcome of the host, an elderly
gentleman, whose easy and polished manners reminded f
me of the times of o ir grandfathers in glorious New
England. A few minutes put me on a footing of friend-
ly familiarity with him and his family, and I soon found
myself in a circle of daughters and grandchildren, and
as much at home as if I had been a long-expected guest.
AMONG THE PINES.
Teahs ago — how many it would not interest the
reader to know, and might embarrass me to mention —
accompanied by a young woman — a blue-eyed, golden-
haired daughter of New-England — I set out on a long
journey; a journey so long that it will not end till one
or the other of us has laid off forever the habiliments
One of the first stations on our route was — Paris.
While there, strolling out one morning alone, accident
directed my steps to the Arc (TEtoUe, that magnificent
memorial of the greatness of a great man. Ascending
its gloomy staircase to the roof, I seated myself, to en-
joy the fine view it affords of the city and its environs.
I was shortly joined by a lady and gentleman, whose
appearance indicated that they were Americans. Some
casual remark led us into a conversation, and soon, to
our mutual surprise and gratification, we learned that
the lady was a dear and long-time friend of my travel-
ling-companion. The acquaintance thus begun, has
since grown into a close and abiding friendship.
The reader, with this preamble, can readily imagine
my pleasure on learning, as we were seated after our
evening meal, around that pleasant fiieside in far-off
Carolina, that my Paris acquaintance was a favorite
niece, or, as he warmly expressed it, " almost a daugh-
ter" of my host. This discovery dispelled any lingering
feeling of " strangeness" that had not vanished with the
first cordial greeting of my new-found friends, and made
me perfectly " at home."
The evening wore rapidly away in a free interchange
of " news," opinions, and " small-talk," and I soon gath-
ered somewhat of the history of my host. He was born
at the North, and his career affords a striking illustra-
tion of the marvellous enterprise of our Northern char-
acter. A native of the State of Maine, he emigrated
thence when a young man, and settled down, amid
the pine-ferest in that sequestered part of Cottondom.
Erecting a small saw-mill, and a log shanty to shelter
himself and a few " hired" negroes, he attacked, with his
own hands, the mighty pines, whose brothers still tower
in gloomy magnificence around his dwelling.
From such beginnings he had risen to be one of the
wealthiest land and slave owners of his district, with
vessels trading to nearly every quarter of the globe,
to the Northern and Eastern ports, Cadiz, the West
Indies, South America, and if I remember aright, Cali-
fornia. It seemed to me a marvel that this man, alone,
and unaided by the usual appliances of commerce, had
created a business, rivalling in extent the transactions of
many a princely merchant of New York and Boston.
His " family" of slaves numbered about three hundred,
and a more healthy, and to all appearance, happy set of
AMONG THE PINES.
laboring people, I had never seen. Well fed, comforta-
bly and almost neatly clad, with tidy and well-ordered
.homes, exempt from labor in childhood and advanced
age, and cared for in sickness by a kind and considerate
mistress, who is the physician and good Samaritan of the
village, they seemed to share as much physical enjoy
ment as ordinarily falls to the lot of the " hewer of wood
and drawer of water." Looking at them, I began to
question if Slavery is, in reality, the damnable thing that
some untravelled philanthropists have pictured it. If
— and in that " if" my good Abolition friend, is the only
unanswerable argument against the institution— if they
were taught, if they knew their nature and their destiny,
the slaves of such an owner might unprofitably exchange
situations with many a white man, who, with nothing
in the present or the future, is desperately struggling for
a miserable hand-to-mouth Bxistence in our Northern
cities. I say " of such an owner," for in the Southern Ar-
cadia such masters are " few and far between" — rather
fewer and farther between than " spots upon the sun."
But they are not taught. Public sentiment, as well
as State law, prevents the enlightened master, who
would fit the slave by knowledge for greater usefulness,
from letting a ray of light in upon his darkened mind.
The black knows his task, his name, and his dinner-hour.
He knows there is a something within him — he does not.
understand precisely what — that the white man calls his
soul, which he is told will not rest in the ground when
his body is laid away in the grave, but will — if he is a
" good nigger," obeys his master, and does the task
allotted him — travel off to some unknown region, and
sing hallelujahs to the Lord, forever. He rather sensi-
bly imagines that such everlasting singing may in time
pr'oduce hoarseness, so he prepares his vocal organs for
the long concert by a vigorous discipline while here, and
at the same time cultivates instrumental music, having
a dim idea that the Lord has an ear for melody, and
will let him, when he is tired of singing, vary the exer-
cise " wid de banjo and de bones." This is all he knows ;
and his owner, however well-disposed he may be, cannot
teach him more. Xoble, Christian masters whom I have
met — have told me that they did not dare instruct their
slaves. Some of their negroes were born in their houses,
nursed in their families, and have grown up the play-
mates of Jheir children, and yet they are forced to see
them live and die like the J$rutes. One need not be ac-
cused of fanatical abolitionism if he deems such a sys-
tem a little in conflict with the spirit of the nineteenth
The sun had scarcely turned his back upon the world,
when a few drops of rain, sounding on the piazza-roof
over our heads, announced a coming storm. Soon it
burst upon us in magnificent fury — a real, old-fashioned
thunderstorm, such as I used to he awake and listen to
when a boy, wondering all the while if the angels were
keeping a Fourth of July in heaven. In the midit of it,
when the earth and the sky appeared to have met in
true Waterloo fashion, and the dark branches of the
AMONG THE PIXES.
pines seemed writhing and tossing in a sea of flame, a
loud knock came at the hall-door (bells arc not the
fashion in Dixie), and a servant soon ushered into the
room a middle-aged', unassuming gentleman, whom
my host received with a respect and cordiality which
indicated that he w T as no ordinary guest. There was in
his appearance and manner that indefinable something
which denotes the man of mark ; but my curiosity was
soon gratified by an introduction. It was " Colonel"
A . This title, I afterward learned, was merely hon-
orary : and I may as well remark here, that nearly every
one at the South who has risen to the ownership of a
negro, is eithe- a captain, a major, or a colonel, or, as
my ebony driver expressed it : " Dey 'm all captins and
mates, wid none to row de boat but de darkies." On
hearing the name, I recognized it as that of 4 one of the
oldest and most aristocratic South Carolina families, and
the new guest as a near relative to the gentleman who
married the beautiful and ill-fated Theodosia Burr.
In answer to an inquiry of my host, the new-comer
explained that he had left Colonel J 's (the planta-
tion toward which I was journeying), shortly before
noon, and being overtaken by the storm after leaving
Conwayboro, had, at the solicitation of his " boys" (a
familiar term for slaves), who were afraid to proceed,
called to ask shelter for the night.
Shortly after his entrance, the lady members of the fam-
ily retired ; and then the " Colonel," the " Captain," and
myself, drawing our chairs near the fire, and each light-
ing a fragrant Havana, placed on the table by our host,
fell into a long conversation, of which the following was
a jjart :
" [t must have been urgent business, Colonel, that
took you so far into the woods at this season," remarked
"These are urgent times, Captain B ," replied
the guest. " All who have any thing at stake, should be
" These are unhappy times, truly," said my friend ;
" has any thing new occurred ?"
" Nothing of moment, sir ; but we are satisfied Bu-
chanan is playing us false, and are preparing for the
"I should be sorry to know that a President of the
United States had resorted to underhand measures !
Has he really given you pledges ?"
" He promised to preserve the statu quo in Charles-
ton harbor, and we have direct information that he in
tends to send out reinforcements," rejoined Colonel
" Can that be true ? You know, Colonel, I never ad-
mired your friend, Mr. Buchanan, but I cannot see
how, if he does his duty, he can avoid enforcing the
laws in Charleston, as well as in the other cities of the
" The 4 Union,' sir, does not exist. Buchanan has now
no more right to quarter a soldier in South Carolina than
I have to march an armed force on to Boston Common.
AMONG THE PINES.
If he persists in keeping troops near Charleston, we
shall dislodge them."
" But that would make war ! and war, Colonel," re-
plied our host, " would be a terrible thing. Do you re-
alize what it would bring upon us ? And what could
our little State do in a conflict with nearly thirty mil-
"We should not fight with thirty millions. The
other Cotton States are with us, and the leaders in the
Border States are pledged to Secession. They will
wheel into line when we give the word. But the North
will not fight. The Democratic party sympathizes
with us, and some of its influential leaders are pledged
to our side. They will sow division there, and paralyze
the Free States ; besides, the trading and manufacturing
classes will never consent to a war that will work their
ruin. With the Yankees, sir, the dollar is almighty."
" That may be true," replied our host ; " but I think
if we go too far, they will fight. What think you, Mr.
K ?" he continued, appealing to me, and adding :
"This gentleman, Colonel, is very recently from the
Up to that moment, I had avoided taking part in the
conversation. Enough had been said to satisfy me that
while my host was a staunch Unionist,* his visitor was
* I very much regret to learn, that since my meeting with this most excellent
gentleman, being obnoxious to the Secession leaders for his well-known Union
sentiments, he has been very onerously assessed by them for contributions for
carrying on the war. The sum he has been forced to pay, is stated as high as
forty thousand dollars, but that maybe, and I trust is, an exaggeration. In ad*
not only a rank Secessionist, but one of the leaders of
the movement, and even then preparing for desperate
measures. Discretion, therefore, counselled silence.
To this direct appeal, however, I was forced to reply,
and answered : " I think, sir, the North does not yet
realize that the South is in earnest. When it wakes up
to that fact, its course will be decisive."
" Will the Yankees fight, sir ?" rather impatiently
and imperiously asked the Colonel, who evidently
thought I intended to avoid a direct answer to the
Rather nettled by his manner, I quickly responded :
" Undoubtedly they will, sir. They have fought before,
and it would not be wise to count them cowards."
A true gentleman, he at once saw that his manner
had given offence, and instantly moderating his tone,
rather apologetically replied : " Not cowards, sir, but
too much absorbed in the 1 occupations of peace,' to go
to war for an idea."
"But what you call an 'idea,'" said our host, "they
may think a great fact on which their existence depends.
I can see that we will lose vastly by even "a peaceful
separation. Tell me, Colonel, what we will gain ?"
" Gain !" warmly responded the guest. " Every thing!
Security, freedom, room for the development of our in-
dition — and this fact is within my own knowledge — five of his vessels Lave been
seized in the Northern ports by onr Government. This exposure of true Union
men to a double fire, is one of the most unhappy circumstances attendant upon
this most unhappy war.
AMONG THE PINES.
stitutions, and such progress in wealth as the world has
"All that is very fine," rejoined the "Captain," "but
where there is wealth, there must be work ; and who
will do the work in your new Empire — I do not mean
the agricultural labor; you will depend for that, of
course, on the blacks — but who will run your manufac-
tories and do your mechanical labor? The Southern
gentleman would feel degraded by such occupation ; and
if you put the black to any work requiring intelligence,
you must let him think, and when he thinks, he is
" All that is easily provided for," replied the Secession-
ist. " We shall form intimate relations with England.
She must have our cotton, and we in return will take
" That would be all very well at present, and so long as
you should keep on good terms with her ; but suppose,
some fine morning, Exeter Hall got control of the Eng-
lish Government, and hinted to you, in John Bull fash-
ion, that cotton produced by free labor would be more
acceptable, what could three, or even eight millions, cut
off from the sympathy and support of the North, do in
opposition to the power of the British empire ?"
" Nothing, perhaps, if we were three or even eight
millions, but we shall be neither one nor the other.
Mexico and Cuba are ready, now, to fall into our hands,
and before two years have passed, with or without the
Border States, we shall count twenty millions. Long
before England is abolitionized, our population will out-
number hers, and our territory extend from the Atlantic
to the Pacific, and as far south as the Isthmus. We are
founding, sir, an empire that will be able to defy all
Europe — one grander than the world has seen since the
age of Pericles !"
" You say, with or without the Border States," re-
marked our host. u I thought you counted on their
" We do if the North makes war irpon us, but if al-
lowed to go in peace, we can do better without them.
They will be a wall between us and the abolitionized
"You mistake," I said, u in thinking the North is abo-
litionized. The Abolitionists are but a handful there.
The great mass of our people are willing the South
should have undisturbed control of its domestic concerns."
" Why, then, do you send such men as Seward, Sum-
ner, Wilson, and Grow to Congress ? Why have you
elected a President who approves of nigger-stealing ?
and why do you tolerate such incendiaries as Greeley,
Garrison, and Phillips ?" «
" Seward, and the others you name," I replied, " are
not Abolitionists ; neither does Lincoln approve of nig-
ger-stealing. He , is an honest man, and I doubt not,
when inaugurated, will da exact justice by the South.
As to incendiaries, you find them in both sections.
Phillips and Garrison are only the opposite poles of
Yancey and Wise."
AMONG THE PINES.
" Not so, sir ; they are more. Phillips, Greeley, and
Garrison create and control your public opinion. They
are mighty powers, while Yancey and Wise have no
influence whatever. Yancey is a mere bag-pipe ; we
play upon him, N and like the music, but smile when he
attempts to lead us. Wise is a harlequin ; we let him
dance because he is good at it, and it amuses us. Lin-
coln may be honest, but if made President he will be
controlled by Seward, who hates the South. Seward
will whine, and wheedle, and attempt to cajole us back,
but mark what I say, sir, I Tcnoio him ; he is physically,
morally, and constitutionally a toward, and will never
strike a blow for the Union. If hard pressed by public
sentiment, he may, to save appearances, bluster a little,
and make a show of getting ready for a fight ; but he
will find some excuse at the last moment, and avoid
coming to blows. For our purposes, we had rather
have the North under his control than under that of the
old renegade, Buchanan !"
" All this may be very true," I replied, " but perhaps
you attach too much weight to what Mr. Seward or
Mr. Lincoln may or may not do. You seem to forget
that there are twenty intelligent millions at the North,
who will have something to say on this subject, and
who may not consent to be driven into disunion by the
South, or wheedled into it by Mr.-Seward."
" I do not forget," replied the Secessionist, " that you
have four millions of brave, able-bodied men, while we
have not, perhaps, more than two millions ; but bear in
mind that you are divided, and therefore weak; we
united, and therefore strong V 9
" But," I inquired, " have you two millions without
counting your blacks ; and are they not as likely to
fight on the wrong as on the right side ?"
" They will fight on the right side, sir. We can trust
them. You have travelled somewhat here. Have you
not been struck with the contentment and cheerful sub-
jection of the slaves ?"
" £To, sir, I have not been ! On the contrary, their
discontent is evident. You are smoking a cigar on a
An explosion of derisive laughter from the Colonel
followed this remark, and turning to the Captain, he
good-humoredly exclaimed : " Hasn't the gentleman
used his eyes and ears industriously !"
" I am afraid he is more than half right," was the re-
ply. " If this thing should go on, I would not trust my
own slaves, and I think they are truly attached to me.
If the fire once breaks out, the negroes will rush into it,
like horses into a burning barn."
" Think you so !" exclaimed the Colonel in an excited
manner. " By Heaven, if I believed it, I would cut the
throat of every slave in Christendom ! What," address-
ing me, "have you seen or heard, sir, that gives you
that opinion ?"
" Nothing but a sullen discontent and an eagerness
for news, which show they feel intense interest in what
is going on, and know it concerns them? 9
42 AMONG THE PUSES.
" I haven't remarked that," he said rather musingly,
" but it may be so. Does the North believe it ? If we
came to blows, would they try to excite servile insur-
rection among us ?"
" The North, beyond a doubt, believes it," I replied,
" yet I think even the Abolitionists would aid you in
putting down an insurrection ; but war, in my opinion,
would not leave you a slave between the Rio Grande
and the Potomac."
The Colonel at this rose, remarking : " You are
mistaken. You are mistaken, sir !" then turning
to our host, said: "'Captain, it is late: had we not
better retire ?" Bidding me " good-night," he was
Our host soon returned from showing the guest to
his apartment, and with a quiet but deliberate manner,
said to me : " You touched him, Mr. K , on a point
where he knows we are weakest ; but allow me to cau-
tion you about expressing your opinions so freely. The
Colonel is a gentleman, and what you have .said will do
no harm, but, long as I have lived here, I dare not say
to many what you have said to him to-night." w§
Thanking the worthy gentleman for the caution, I
followed him up stairs, and soon lost, in a sweet ob-
livion, all thoughts of Abolitionists, niggers, and the
" grand empire."
iwas awakened in the morning by music under my
window, and looking out discovered about a dozen dar-
kies gathered around my ebony driver, who was claw-
mg away with all his might at a dilapidated banjo,
while his auditory kept time to his singing, by striking
the hand on the knee, and by other gesticulations too
numerous to mention. The songs were not much to
boast of, but the music was the genuine, dyed-in-the-
wool, darky article. The following was. the refrain of
one of the songs, which the reader will perceive was an
exhortation to early rising :
" So up, good massa, let's be gwoin',
Let's be scratch in' ob de grabble ;
For soon de wind may be a blowin',
An' we' se a sorry road to trabble."
The storm of the previous night had ceased, but the
sky was overcast, and looked as if " soon de wind might
be a-blowin'." Prudence counselled an early start, for,
doubtless, the runs, or small creeks, had become swollen
by the heavy rain, and would be unsafe to cross after
dark. Besides, beyond Conwayboro, our route lay for
thirty miles through a country without a solitary house
where we could get decent shelter, were we overtaken
by a storm.
Hurriedly performing my toilet, I descended to the
drawing-room, where I found the family assembled.
After the usual morning salutations were exchanged, a
signal from the mistress caused the sounding of a bell
in the hall, and some ten or twelve men and women
house-servants, of remarkably neat and tidy appearance,
among whom was my darky driver, entered the apart-
AMONG THE PINES.
inent. They took a stand at the remote end of the
room, and our host, opening a large, well-worn family
Bible, read the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah. Then,
all kneeling, he made a short extemporaneous petition,
closing with the Lord's Prayer ; all present, black as
well as white, joining in it. Then Heber's beautiful
hymn, " From Greenland's icy mountains," was sung ;
the negroes, to my ear, making much better music
than the whites.
The services over, we adjourned to the dining-room,
and after we were seated, the " Colonel" remarked to
me : " Did you notice how finely that negro 6 boy' (he
was fully forty years old) sung ?"
" Yes," I replied, " I did. Do you know him, sir ?"
" Oh ! yes, very well. His mistress wishes to sell
him, but finds difficulty in doing so. Though a likely
negro, people will not buy him. He's too smart."
" That strikes me as a singular objection," I remarked.
" Oh ! no, not at all ! These knowing niggers fre-
quently make a world of trouble on a plantation."
4? It was after ten o'clock when we were ready to
start. The mills, the negro-quarters, and various other
parts of the plantation, and then several vessels moored
at the wharf, had to be seen before I could get away.
Finally, I bade my excellent host and his family farewell,
and with nearly as much regret as I ever felt at leaving
my own home. I had experienced the much-heard-ot
Southern hospitality, and had found the report far be-
low the reality.
The other guest had taken his leave some time before,
but not till he had given me a cordial invitation to re-
turn by the way I came, and spend a day or two with
him, at his plantation on the river, some twenty miles
The sky was lowery, and the sandy road heavy with
the recent rain, when we started. The gloomy weather
seemed to have infected the driver as well as myself,
lie had lost the inii'thlulness and loquacity of the pre-
vious day, and we rode on for a full hour in silence.
Tiring at last of my own thoughts, I said to him:
" Scip, what is the matter with you ? what makes
you so gloomy ?"
• " jSTufhn, massa ; I war only tinkin'," he abstractedly
" And what are you thinking about ?"
" I's wond'rin', massa, if de Lord mean de darkies in
dose words of His dat Massa B read dis mornin'."
" What words do you mean ?
" Dese, massa : ' O dou 'fflicted ! tossed wid de tem-
pest, and habin no comfort, behold, I will make you hous'n »
ob de fair colors, and lay dar foundations wid safo-
rnires. All dy chil'ren shill be taught ob de Lord, and
great shill be dar peace. In de right shill dey be 'stab-
lished ; dey shill hab no fear, no terror ; it shan't come
nigh 'em, and who come against dem shill fall. Behold !
I hab make de blacksmif dat blow de coals, and make
de weapons ; and I hab make de waster dat shill destroy
de oppressors.' "
AMONG THE PINES.
If he had repeated one of Webster's orations I should
not have been more astonished. I did not remember
the exact words of the passage, but I knew he had
caught its spirit. Was this his recollection of the read-
ing heard in the morning ? or had he previously com-
mitted it to memory ? These questions I asked my-
self; but, restraining my curiosity, I answered : " Un-
doubtedly they are meant for both the black and the
" Do dey mean, massa, dat we shall be like de wite
folks — wid our own hous'n, our chil'ren taught in de
schools, and wid weapons to strike back when dey
strike us ?"
" No, Scipio, they don't mean that. They refer prin-
cipally to spiritual matters. They were a promise to all
the world that when the Saviour came, all, even the
greatly oppressed and afflicted, should hear the great
truths of the Bible about God, Redemption, and the
u But de Saviour hab come, massa ; and dose tings
an't taught to de black chil'ren. We hab no peace, no
rights ; numn buf fear, 'pression, and terror."
u That is true, Scipio. The Lord takes His own
time, but His time will surely come."
" De Lord bless you, massa, for saying dat ; and de
Lord bless you for telling dat big Gunnel, dat if dey
gwo to war de brack man will be Free !"
" Did you hear what we said ?" I inquired, greatly
surprised, for I remembered remarking, during the in-
terview of the previous evening, that our host carefully
kept the doors closed.
" Ebery word, massa."
" But how could you hear ? The doors and windows
were shut. Where were you ?"
" On de piazzer ; and when I seed fru de winder dat
de ladies war gwine, I know'd you'd talk 'bout politics
and de darkies — gemmen allers do. So I opened de
winder bery softly — you didn't har 'cause it rained and
blowed bery hard, and made a mighty noise. Den I
stuffed my coat in de crack, so de wind could'nt blow in
and lef you know I wus dar, but I lef a hole big 'nough
to har. My ear froze to dat hole, massa, bery tight, I
" But you must have got very wet and very cold."
" Wet, massa ! wetter dan a 'gator dat's been in de
riber all de week, but I didn't keer for de rain or de
cold. What I hard made me warm all de way fru."
To my mind there was a rough picture of true hero-
ism in that poor darky standing for hours in his shirt-
sleeves, in the cold, stormy night, the lightning playing
about him, and the rain drenching him to the skin —
that he might hear something he thought would benefit
his down-trodden race.
I noticed his clothing though bearing evident marks
of a drenching, was then dry, and I inquired: "How
did you dry your clothes ?"
" I staid wid some ob de cullud folks, and arter you
g woes up stars, I went to dar cabin, and dey gabe me
AMONG THE PINES.
some dry does. We made up a big fire, and hung
mine up to dry, and de ole man and woman and me sot
up all night and talked ober what you and de ouer gem-
" Will not those folks tell what you did, and thus get
you into trouble ?"
" Tell ! Lord bless you, massa, de bracks am all free-
masons / dat ar ole man and woman wud die 'fore dey'd
" But are not Captain B 's negroes contented ?"
I asked ; " they seem to be well treated."
" Oh ! yas, dey am. All de brack folks 'bout har want
de Captin to buy 'em. He bery nice man — one ob de
Lord's own people. He better man dan David, 'caus^
David did wrong, and I don't b'lieve de Captin eber did."
" I should think he was a very good man," I replied.
" Bery good man, massa, but de white folks don't
like him, 'cause dey say he treats him darkies so well,
all dairn am uncontented."
"Tell me, Scipio," I resumed after a while, "how it
is you can repeat that passage from Isaiah so well ?"
" Why, bless you, massa, I know Aziar and Job and
de Psalms 'most all by heart. Good many years ago,
when I lib'd in Charles'on, the gub'ness learned me to
: read, and I hab read dat Book fru good many times."
" Have you read any others ?" I asked.
" None but dat and Doctor Watts. I hab dem, but
wite folks wont sell books to de bracks, and I wont
steal 'em. I read de papers sometimes."
I opened my portmanteau, that lay on the floor of the
wagon, and handed him a copy of Whittier's poem?. It
happened to be the only book, excepting the Bible,
that I had with me.
"Read that, Scipio," I said. "It is a book of poetry,
but written by a good man at the North, -who greatly
pities the slave."
He took the book, and the big tears rolled down his
cheeks, as he said : " Tank you, massa, tank you. No-
body war neber so good to me afore."
During our conversation, the sky, which had looked
threatening all the morning, began to let fall the big
drops of rain ; and before we reached Conwayboro, it
poured down much after the fashion of the previous
night. It being cruelty to both man and beast to re-
main out in such a deluge, we pulled up at the village
hotel (kept, like the one at Georgetown, by a lady),
and determined to remain overnight, unless the rain
should abate in time to allow us to reach our destination
Dinner being ready soon after our arrival (the people
of Conwayboro, like the "common folks" that Davy
Crockett told about, dine at twelve), I sat down to it,
first hanging my outer garments, which were somewhat
wet, before the fire in the sitting-room. The house
seemed to be a sort of public boarding-house, as well as
hotel, for quite a number of persons, evidently towns-
people were at the dinner-table. My appearance attract-
ed some attention, though not more, I thought, than
AMONG THE PINES.
would be naturally excited in so quiet a place "by the
arrival of a stranger ; but " as nobody said nothing to
me, I said nothing to nobody."
Dinner over, I adjourned to the " sitting-room," and
Beating myself by the fire, watched the drying of my
" outer habiliments." While thus engaged, the door
opened, and three men — whom I should have taken for
South Carolina gentlemen, had not a further acquaint-
ance convinced me to the contrary — entered «f,he room.
Walking directly up to where I was sittings the fore-
most one accosted me something after this manner:
" I see you are from the North, sir."
Taken a little aback by the abruptness of the " salute,"
but guessing his object, I answered: "No, sir; lam
from the South."
" From what part of the South ?"
"I left Georgetown yesterday, and Charleston two
days before that," I replied, endeavoring to seem entirely
oblivious to his meaning.
" We don't want to know Vhar you war yesterday m T
we want to know whar you belong" he said, with a lit-
" Oh ! that's it. Well, sir, I belong here just at pres-
ent, or rather I shall, when I have paid the landlady for
Annoyed by my coolness, and getting somewhat ex-
cited, he replied quickly: "You mustn't trifle with us,
sir. We know you. You're from the North. We've
seen it on your valise, and we can't allow a man who
carries the New York Independent to travel in South
The scoundrels had either broken into my portman-
teau, or else a copy of that paper had dropped from it
on to the floor of the wagon when I gave the book to
Scipio. At any rate, they had seen it, and it was evident
" Brother Beecher" was getting me into a scrape. I
felt indignant at the impudence of the fellow, but de-
termined to keep cool, and, a little sarcastically, replied
to the latter part of his remark :
" That's a pity, sir. South Carolina will lose by it."
"This game wont work, sir. We don't want such
people as you har, and the sooner you make tracks the
" I intend to leave, sir, as soon as the rain is over, and
shall travel thirty miles on your sandy roads to-day, if
you don't coax me to stay here by your hospitality," I
The last remark was just the one drop needed to make
his wrath "bile over," and he savagely exclaimed : " I tell
you, sir, we will not be trifled with. You must be off
to Georgetown at once. You can have just half an hour
to leave the Boro', not a second more."
His tone and manner aroused what little combative-
ness there is in me. Rising from my chair, and taking
up my outside-coat, in which was one of Colt's six
shooters, I said to him: " Sir, I am here, a peaceable man,
on peaceable, private business. I have started to go up
the country, and go there I shall ; and I shall leave this
AMONG THE PINES.
place at my convenience — not before. I have endured
your impertinence long enough, and shall have no more
of it. If you attempt to interfere with my movements,
you will do so at your peril."
My blood was up, and I was fast losing that better
part of valor called discretion ; and he evidently under-
stood my movement, and did not dislike the turn affairs
were taking. There is no telling what might have fol-
lowed had not Scip just at that instant inserted his
woolly head between us, excitedly exclaiming : " Lord
bless you, Massa B 11 ; what am you 'bout ? Why,
dis gemman am a 'ticlar friend of Cunnel A . He'm
a reg'lar sesherner. He hates de ablisherners worser
dan de debbie. I hard him swar a clar, blue streak
'bout dem only yesterday."
" Massa B 11" was evidently taken aback by the
announcement of the negro, but did not seem inclined
to " give it up so" at once, for he asked : " How do you
know he's the Colonel's friend, Scip ? Who told you
" Who told me so ?" exclaimed the excited negro,
" wh^, didn't he stay at Captin B 's, wid de Cunnel,
all night last night ; and didn't dey set up dar doin'
politic business togedder till arter midnight? Didn't
de Cunnel come dar in all de storm 'pressly to see dis
The ready wit and rude eloquence of the darky amused
me, and the idea of the " Cunnel" travelling twenty miles
through the terrible storm of the previous night to meet
a man who had the New York Independent about him,
was so perfectly ludicrous, that I could not restrain my
laughter. That laugh did the business for "Massa
13 11." What the negro had said staggered, but
did not convince him ; but my returning good-humor
brought him completely round. Extending his hand to
me, he said : " I see, sir, I've woke up the wrong pas-
senger. Hope you'll take no offence. In these times we
need to know who come among us."
" No offence whatever, sir," I replied. " It is easy to
be mistaken ; but." I added smilingly, " I hope, for the
sake of the next traveller, you'll be less precipitate an-
" I am rather hasty ; that's a fact," he said. " But
no harm is done. So let's take a drink, and say no more
about it. The old lady har keeps nary a thing, but we
can get the raal stuff close by."
Though not a member of a " Total Abstinence So-
ciety," I have always avoided indulging in the quality
of fluid that is the staple beverage at the South. I there-
fore hesitated a moment before accepting the gentle-
man's invitation ; but the alternative seemed to be
squarely presented, pistols or drinks ; cold lead or poor
whiskey > and — I am ashamed to confess it — I took the
Returning to the hotel, I found Scip awaiting me.
" Massa," he said, u we better be gwine. Dat dar sesh--
erner am ugly as de bery ole debble ; and soon as he
AMONG THE PINES.
knows I cum de possum ober him 'bout de Cunnel,, he'll
be down on you shore"
The rain had dwindled to a drizzle, which the sun was
vigorously struggling to get through with a tolerable
prospect of success, and I concluded to take the African's
advice. Wrapping myself in an India-rubber overcoat,
and giving the darky a blanket of the same material, I
CROSSING THE kfc KTOTS.''
CROSSING THE "RUNS."
The long, tumble-down bridge which spans the Wac-
camaw at Conwayboro, trembled beneath our horse's
tread, as with lengthened stride he shook the secession
mud from his feet, and whirled us along into the dark,
deep forest. It may have been the exhilaration of a
hearty dinner of oats, or it may have been sympathy
with the impatience of his fellow-travellers that spurred
him on ; whichever it was, away he went as if Lucifer —
that first Secessionist — were following close at his heels.
The sun, which for a time had been industriously
wedging his way into the dark masses of cloud, finally
slunk out of sight and left us enveloped in a thick fog,
which shut from view all of Cottondom, except a nar-
row belting of rough pines, and a few rods of sandy
road that stretched out in dim perspective before us.
There being nothing in the outside creation to attract
my attention, I drew the apron of the carriage about
me, and settling myself well back on the seat to avoid
the thick-falling mist, fell into a train of dreamy reflec-
Niggers, slave-auctions, cotton-fields, rice-swamps, and
King Cotton himself, that blustering old despot, with
his swarthy arms and " under-pinning,' 7 ' his face of brass,
AMONG- THE PINES.
and body of " raw material," passed through my mind,
like Georgia trains through the Oconee Swamp, till
finally my darky friend came into view. He seemed at
first a little child, amid the blazing ruins of his wilder-
ness home, gazing in stupid horror on the burning bod-
ies of his father and his kindred. Then he was kneel-
ing at the side of his dying mother in the slave-pen at
Cape Lopez, and — still a child — cooped in the " Black-
hole" of the accursed slave-ship, his little frame burn-
ing with the fever-fire, and his child-heart longing for
death. Then he seemed mounting the Cuban slave-
block, and -as the "going! going ! w gone !" rung in my
ear, he was hurried away, and driven to the cruel task —
still a child — on the hot, unhealthy sugar-field. Again
he appeared, stealing away at night to a lonely hut, and
by the light of a pine-knot, wearily poring over the
Book of Books, slowly putting letters into words, and
words into sentences, that he might know " What God
says to the black manP Then he seemed a man — splen-
did of frame, noble of soul — suspended in the whipping-
rack, his arms bound above his head, his body resting
on the tips of his toes, and the merciless lash falling on
his bare back, till the red stream ran from it like a river
— scourged because he would not aid in creating beings
as wretched as himself, and make merchandise of his
own blood to gorge the pocket of an incarnate white
As these things passed before me, and I thought of
his rare intelligence, of his fine traits of character, and
CROSSING THE " RUNS."
of the true heroism he had shown in risking, perhaps,
his own life to get me — a stranger — out cf an ugly hob-
ble, I felt a certain spot in my left side warming toward
him, very much as it might have done had his blood
been as pure as my own. It seemed to me a pity — anti-
Abolitionist and Southern-sympathizer though I was —
that a man of such rare natural talent, such character
and energy, should have his large nature dwarfed, be
tethered for life to a cotton-stalk, and made to wear his
soul out in a tread-mill, merely because his skin had a
darker tinge and his shoe a longer heel than mine.
As I mused over his " strange, eventful history," and
thought of the handy way nature has of putting the
right man in the wrong place, it occurred to me how
" Brother Beecher" one evening, not a long time before,
had charmed the last dollar from my waistcoat pocket
by exhibiting, d la Barnum, a remarkably ugly u cullud
pusson" on his pulpit stairs, and by picturing the awful
doom which awaited her — that of being reduced from
baby-tending to some less useful employment — if his
audience did not at once "do the needful." Then it
occurred to me how much finer a spectacle my ebony
friend would make ; how well his six feet of manly sinew
would grace those pulpit stairs ; how eloquently the rev-
erend gentleman might expatiate on the burning sin of
shrouding the light of such an intellect in the mists of
niggerdom, only to see it snuffed out in darkness ; how
he might enlarge on what the black could do in ele-
vating his race, either as " cullud" assistant to " Brother
AMONG THE PIKES.
Pease" at the Five-Points, or as co-laborer with Fred
Douglass at abolition conventions, or, if that did'nt^ay,
how, put into the minstrel business, he might run the
white " troupes" off the track, and yield a liberal reve-
nue to the "Cause of Freedom." As I thought of the
probable effect of this last appeal, it seemed to me that
the thing was already done, and that Scip w r as Free.
I got back from dreamland by the simple act of
opening my eyes, and found myself still riding along in
that Jersey wagon, over that heavy, sandy road, and
drenched with the mists of that dreary December day.
The reverie made, however, a deep impression on me,
and I gave vent to it somewhat as follows :
" Colonel A tells me, Scip, that your mistress
wants to sell you. Do you know what she asks ?"
"She ax fifteen hundred dollar, massa, but I an't
worth dat now. Nigger property's mighty low."
" What is your value now ?"
"P'raps eight hundred, p'raps a thousand dollar,
" Would your mistress take a thousand for you ?"
" Don't know, sar, but reckon she would. She'd be
glad to get shut of me. She don't like me on de plan-
tation, 'cause she say de oder darkies tink too much ob
me ; and she don't like' me in de city, 'cause she 'fraid I
" Why afraid you'll run away ? Did you ever try to ?"
" Try to ! Lor bless you, massa, I neber taught ob
euch a ting — wouldn't gwo ef I could."
CROSSING THE "rTH*S."
" But wouldn't you ?" I asked, thinking lie had con-
scientious scruples about running away ; " wouldn't you
if you could buy yourself, and go honestly, as a free
"Buy myself, sar!" he exclaimed in surprise; "buy
my own flesh and blood dat de Lord hissef gabe me !
No, no ! massa; I'd likes to be free, butTd neber do
" Why not do that ?" I asked.
" 'Cause 't would be owning dat de white folks hab a
right to de brack; and 'cause, sar, if I war free I couldn't
" Why should you stay here ? You have no wife nor
child ; why not go where the black man is respected and
" I'se 'spected and useful har, massa. I hab no wife
nor child, and dat make me feel, I s'pose, like as ef all
de brack people war my chil'ren."
" But they are not your children ; and you can be of
no service to them. At the North you might learn, and
put your talents to some use."
" Sar," he replied, a singular enthusiasm lighting up
his face, " de Lord, dat make me what I ar, put me har,
and I must stay. Sometimes when tings look bery
brack, and I feel a'most 'scouraged, I goes to Him, and
I say, ' Lord, I's ob no use, take me 'way ; let me get fru
wid dis ; let me no more see de sunrin' and 'pression ob
de pore cullud race ;' den He say to me, just so plain as
I say it to you, ' Keep up good courage, Scipio, de time
60 - AMONG THE PINES.
will come and now, bless de LonD, de time am
u What time is coming, Scipio ?"
He gave me a quick, suspicious glance, but his face in
a moment resumed its usual expression, as he replied :
" I'se sure, massa, dat I could trust you. I feel you am
my friend, but I can't say no more."
" You need not, Scip — I can guess. What you have
said is safe with me. But let me counsel you — wait
for the white man. Do not let your freedom come in
"It will come, massa, as de Lord will. When He war
freed de earth shook, and de vail ob de temple war rent
in twain ! "
We said no more, but rode on in silence ; the darky
absorbed in his own reflections, I musing over the black
volcano, whose muffled echoes I then heard " away down
South in Dixie."
We had ridden on for about an hour, when an open-
ing in the trees disclosed a by-path, leading to a planta-
tion. Following it for a short distance, we came upon a
small clearing, in the midst of which, flanked by a rag-
ged corn and potato paidi, squatted a dilapidated,
unpainted wooden building, a sort of " half-way house"
* The Southern blacks, like all ignorant people, are intensely fanatical on relig-
ious subjects. The most trifling occurrences have to their minds a hidden sig-
nificance, and they believe the Lord speaks to them in signs Mid dreams, and in
almost every event of nature. This superstition, which has been handed down
from their savage ancestry, has absolute sway over them, and one readily sees
what immense power it would give to some leading, adroit mind, that knew how
to use it. By means of it they might be led to the most desperate deeds, fully
^believing all the while that thoy were "led ob de Lord."
CROSSING THE " RUNS."
between a hut and a shanty. In its door-way, seated on
a chair which wanted one leg and a back, was a suit of
linsey-woolsey, adorned by enormous metal buttons, and
surmounted by a queer-looking headpiece that might
have passed for either a hat or an umbrella. I was at a
loss to determine whether the object were a human being
or a scarecrow, when, at the sound of our approach, the
umbrella-like article lifted, and a pair of sunken eyes,
a nose, and an enormous beard, disclosed themselves.
Addressing myself to the singular figure, I inquired how
far we were from our destination, and the most direct
route to it.
" Wal, stranger," was the reply, " it's a right smart
twenty mile to the Gunnel's, but I reckon ye'll get thar,
if ye follow yer critter's nose, and ar good at swim-
" Why good at swimming?" I inquired.
" 'Cause the 4 runs' have ris, and ar considerable deep
by this time."
"That's comforting news."
" Yas, to a man as seems in a hurry," he replied, look-
ing at my horse, which was covered with foam.
"How far is it to the nearest run ?" I asked.
" Wal, it mought be six mile ; it mought be seven,
but you've one or two all-fired ones to cross arter that."
Here was a pleasant predicament. It was nearly five
o'clock, and our horse, though a noble animal, could not
make the distance on an unobstructed route, in the then
heavy state of the roads, in less than three hours. Long
' AMONG THE PINES.
before that time it would be dark, and no doubt stormy,
for the sky, which had lowered all the afternoon, every
now and then uttered an ominous growl, and seemed
ready to fall down upon us. But turning back was
out of the question, so, thanking the "native," I was
about to proceed, when he hailed me as follows :
" I say, stranger, what's the talk in the city ?"
" Nothing, sir," I replied, " but fight and Secession."
" D — n Secession !" was the decidedly energetic
" Why so, my friend ? That doctrine seems to be
" Yas, pop'lar with them South Car'lina chaps. They'd
be oneasy in heaven if Gabriel was cook, and the Lord
" They must be hard to suit," I said ; " I 4 kalkerlate'
yoiCre not a South Carolinian."
" No, sir-ee ! not by several mile. My mother moved
over the line to born me a decent individual."
" But why are you for the Union, when your neigh-
bors go the other way ?"
" 'Cause it's allers carried us 'long as slick as a cart
with new-greased wheels ; and 'cause, stranger, my
grand'ther was one of Marion's boys, and spilt a lettle
claret at Yewtaw for the old consarn, and I reckon he'd
be oneasy in his grave if I turned my back on it now."
" But, my friend," I said, " they say Lincoln is an
Abolitionist, and if inaugurated, he will free every darky
CROSSING THE " KUNS."
" He can't do that, stranger, 'cordin' to the Constetu-
tion, and grand' ther used to say that ar dokermunt
would hold the d — 1 himself ; but, for my part, I'd like
to see the niggers free."
" See the niggers free !" I replied in undisguised as-
tonishment; "why, my good sir, that is rank treason and
" Call it what yer a mind to, them's my sentiments ;
but I say, stranger, if thar's ony thing on airth that I
uttarly dispise it ar a Northern dough-face, and it's clar
yer one on 'em."
" There, my friend, you're mistaken. I'm neither an
Abolitionist nor a dough-face. But why do you go for
freeing the niggers ?"
" 'Cause the white folks would be better off. You see,
I have to feed and clothe my niggers, and pay a hundred
and twenty and a hundred and fifty a year for 'em, and
if the niggers war free, they'd work for 'bout half
Continuing the conversation, I learned that the um-
brella-hatted gentleman worked twenty hired negroes
in the gathering of turpentine ; and that the district we
were entering was occupied by persons in the same pur-
suit, who nearly all employed " hired hands," and enter-
tained similar sentiments ; Colonel J , whom I was
about to visit, and who was a large slave-owwter, being
about the only exception. This, the reader will please
remember, was the state of things at the date of which
I am writing, in the very heart of Secessiondom.
AMONG THE PINES.
Bidding the turpentine-getter a rather reluctant
c good-by," I rode on into the rain.
It was nearly dark when we reached the first " run,"
but, fortunately, it was less swollen than our way-side
acquaintance had represented, and we succeeded in
crossing without difficulty. Hoping that the others
might be equally as ford-able, we pushed rapidly on,
the darkness meanwhile gathering thickly about us, and
the rain continuing to fall. Our way lay through an
unbroken forest, and as the wind swept fiercely through
it, the tall dark pines which towered on either side,
moaned and sighed like a legion of unhappy spirits let
loose from the dark abodes below. Occasionally we
came upon a patch of woods where the turpentine-
gatherer had been at work, and the white faces of the
" tapped" trees, gleaming through the darkness, seemed
an army of " sheeted ghosts" closkig steadily around us.
The darkness, the rain, and the hideous noises in the
forest, called up unpleasant associations, and I inwardly
determined to ask hospitality from the first human being,
black or white, whom we should meet.
We had ridden on for about an hour after dark, when
suddenly our horse's feet plashed in the water, and he
sank to his middle in a stream. My first thought was
that we were in the second "run," but as he pushed
slowly on, the water momentarily growing deeper, and
spreading on either side as far as we could see, it flashed
upon me that we had missed the road in the darkness,
and were fairly launched into the Waccamaw river!
CROSSING THE " RUNS."
Turning to the darky, who was then driving, I said
" Scip, stop the horse. Where are Ave ?"
" Don't know, massa ; reckon we'se in de riber." \
" A comfortable situation this. We can't turn round.
The horse can't swim such a stream in harness. What
shall we do?"
" Can you swim, massa ?" he quietly asked.
" Yes, like an eel."
" Wal, den, we'd better gwo on. De boss '11 swim.
But, massa, you might take off your boots and over-
coat, and be ready for a spring ef he gwo down." <
I did as he directed, while he let down the apron and
top of the wagon, and fastened the reins loosely to the
dash-board, saying as he did so, " You must allers gib a
hoss his head when he swim, massa ; if you rein him, he
gwo down, shore." Then, undoing a portion of the
harness, to give the horse the free use of his legs, he
shouted, " Gee up, ole Gray," and we started.
The noble animal stepped off slowly and cautiously,
as if fully aware of the danger of the passage, but had
proceeded only about fifty yards when he lost his foot-
ing, and plunged us into an entirely new and decidedly
cold hip-bath. " Now's de time, ole Gray," " show your
broughf en up, ole boy," " let de gemman see you swim,
ole feller," and similar remarks proceeded rapidly from
the darky, who all the time avoided touching the reins.
It may have been one minute, it may have been five
minutes — I took " no note of time" — before the horse
AMONG the pines.
again struck bottom, and halted from sheer exhaustion,
the water still almost level with his back, and the oppo-
site bank too far-off to be seen through the darkness.
After a short rest, he again "breasted the waters," and
in a few moments landed us on the shore ; not, unfor-
tunately, in the road, but in the midst of the pine-trees,
there so entangled with under-growth, that not even a
man, much less a horse, could make his way through
them. Wet to the skin, and shivering with the cold,
we had no time to lose " in gittin' out of dat," if we
would avoid greater dangers than those we had escaped.
So, springing from the wagon, the darky waded up the
stream, near its bank, to reconnoitre. Returning in a
few minutes, he reported that we were about a hundred
yards below the road. "We had been carried that far
down stream by the strength of the current. Our only
course was to follow the " run" up along its bank ; this
we did, and in a short time had the satisfaction of strik-
ing the high road. Arranging the harness, we were
soon under way again, the horse bounding along as if
he felt the necessity of vigorous exercise to restore his
chilled circulation. We afterward learned that it was
not the Waccamaw we had crossed, but the second
" run" our native friend had told us of, and that the
water in the middle of its stream was fifteen feet deep !
Half-dead with cold and wet, we hurried on, but still
no welcome light beckoned us to a human habitation.
The darkness grew denser till we could not even distin-
guish the road, much less our horse's nose, which we had
CROSSING THE "RUNS."
been directed to follow. Inwardly cursing the folly
which brought me into such a wilderness, I said to the
" Scip, I'm sorry I took you on such a trip as this."
" Oh ! neber mind me, massa ; I ruther like de dark
night and de storm."
" Like the night and the storm ! why so ?"
" 'Cause den de wild spirits come out, and talk in de
trees. Dey make me feel bery strong har" he replied,
striking his hand on his breast.
" The night and the storm, Scip, make me feel like
cultivating another sort of spirits. There are some in
the wagon-box ; suppose we stop and see what they are."
We stopped, and I took out a small willow-flask,
which held the " spirits of Otard," and offered it to the
" ]STo, massa," he said, laughing, " I neber touch dem
sort ob spirits ; dey raise de bery ole deble."
Not heeding the darky's example, I took " a long and
a strong pull," and — felt the better for it.
Again we rode on, and again and again I " communed
with the spirits," till a sudden exclamation from Scip
aroused me from the half-stupor into which I was falling.
" What's the matter ?" I asked.
" A light, massa, a light !"
"Dar, way off in de trees — "
" Sure enough, glory, hallelujah, there it is ! We're
all right now, Scip."
AMONG THE PINES.
We rode on till we came to the inevitable opening m
the trees, and were soon at the door of what I saw, by
the light which came throngh the crevices in the logs,
was a one-story shanty, abont twenty feet square. "Will
you let us come in out ob de rain ?" asked Scip of a
wretched-looking, half-clad, dirt-bedraggied woman, who
thrust her head from the doorway.
" Who ar ye ?" was the reply.
" Only massa and me, and de hoss, and we'm half dead
wid de cold," replied Scip; "can we cum in out ob
de rain ?"
"Wal, strangers," replied the woman, eyeing us as
closely as the darkness would permit, " you'll find
mighty poor fixins har, but I reckon ye can come in."
Entering the house, we saw, by the light of a blazing
pile of pine-knots, which roared and crackled on the
hearth, that it contained only a single apartment. In
front of the fire-place, which occupied the better half of
one side of this room, the floor was of the bare earth,
littered over with pine chips, dead cinders, live coals,
broken pots, and a lazy spaniel dog. Opposite to this,
at the other end of the room, were two low beds, which
looked as if they had been " slept in forever, and never
made up." Against the wall, between the beds and the
fire-place, stood a small pine table, and on it was a large
wooden bowl, from whose mouth protruded the handles
of several unwashed pewter spoons. On the right of
the fire was a razeed rocking-chair, evidently the pecu-
liar property of the mistress of the mansion, and three
blocks of pine log, sawn off smoothly, and made to serve
for seats. Over against these towered a high-backed
settle, something like that on which
" sot Huldy all alone,
When Zeke peeked thru the winder;"
and on it, her head resting partly on her arm, partly on
the end of the settle, one small, bare foot pressing the
70 AMONG THE PINES.
ground, the other, with the part of the person which is
supposed to require stockings, extended in a horizontal
direction — reclined, not Huldy, but her Southern cousin,
who, I will wager, was decidedly the prettier and dirtier
of the two. Our entrance did not seem to disconcert
her in the least, for she lay there as unmoved as a marble
statue, her large black eyes riveted on my face, as L
seeing some nondescript animal for the first time. I
stood for a moment transfixed with admiration. In a
somewhat extensive observation of her sex in both hem-
ispheres, I had never witnessed such a form^such eyes,
such faultless features, and such wavy, black, luxuriant
hair. A glance at her dress — a soiled, greasy, grayish
linsey-woolsey gown, apparently her only garment — and
a second look at her face, which, on closer inspection,
had precisely the hue of a tallow candle, recalled me to
myself, and allowed me to complete the survey of the
The house was built of unhewn logs, separated by
wide interstices, through which the cold air came, hi de-
cidedly fresh if not health-giving currents, while a large
rent in the roof, that let in the rain, gave the inmates an
excellent opportunity for indulging in a shower-bath, of
which they seemed greatly in need. The chimney, which
had intruded a couple of feet into the room, as if to keep
out of the cold, and threatened momentarily to tumble
down, was of sticks, built up in clay, while the windows
were of thick, unplaned boards.
Two pretty girls, one of perhaps ten and the other of
fourteen years, evidently sisters of the unadorned beauty,
the middle-aged woman who had admitted us, and the
dog — the only male member of the household — com-
^ posed the family. I had seen negro cabins, but these
people were whites, and these whites were South Caro-
linians. When such counterparts of the feudal serfs
still exist, who will say that the days of chivalry are
After I had seated myself by the fire, and the driver
had gone out to stow the horse away under the tumble-
down she^ at the back of the house, the elder woman
said to me —
" Reckon yer wet. Ben in the rain !"
"Yes, madam, we've been out most of the day, and
got in the river below here."
" Did ye ? Ye mean the ' run.' I reckon it's right
" Yes, our horse had to swim," I replied.
" Ye orter strip and put on dry does to onst."
" Thank you, madam, I will."
Going to my portmanteau, which the darky had
placed near the door, I found it dripping with wet, and
opening it I discovered that every article had undergone
the rite of immersion.
" Every thing is thoroughly soaked, madam. I shall
have to dry myself by your fire. Can you get me a cup
"Right sorry, stranger, but I can't- Ilaint a morsel
to eat or drink in the house."
AMONG THE PINES.
Remembering that our excellent hostess of the night
before had insisted on filling the wagon-box with a quan-
tity of "chicken fLdns," to serve us in an emergency,
and that my brandy flask was in my India-rubber coat,
I sent Scip out for them.
The stores disclosed boiled chicken, bacon, sandwiches,
sweet potatoes, short cake, corn-bread, buttered waffles,
and 'common doinV too numerous to mention, enough
to last a family of one for a fortnight, but all completely
saturated with water. Wet or dry, however, the pro-
visions were a godsend to the half starved family, and
their hearts seemed to open to me with amazing rapidity.
The dog got up and wagged his tail, and even the marble
like beauty rose from her reclining posture and invite*
me to a seat with her on the bench.
The kettle was soon steaming over the fire, and the
boiling water, mixed with a little brandy, served as a
capital substitute for tea. After the chicken was re-
cooked, and the other edibles "warmed up," the little
pine table was brought out, and I learned— what I had
before suspected — that the big wooden bowl and the
half dozen pewter spoons were the only "crockery" the
I declined the proffered seat at the table, the cooking
utensils being any thing but inviting, and contented
myself with the brandy and water; but, forgetting for a
moment his color, I motioned to the darky — who was
as wet and jaded, and much more hungry than I was —
to take the place offered to me. The negro did not seem
inclined to do so, but the woman, observing my gesture,
yelled out, her eyes flashing with anger:
" No, sar ! No darkies eats with us. Hope you don't
reckon yerselfno better than a good-for-nothin', no ac-
count nigger !"
" I beg your pardon, madam ; I intended no offence.
Scipio has served me very faithfully for two days, and is
very tired and hungry. I forgot myself."
This mollified the lady, and she replied:
"Niggers is good enuff in thar place, but warn't meant
to 'sociate with white folks."
There may have been some ground for a distinction in
that case; there certainly was a difference between the
specimens of the two races then before me; but, not
being one of the chivalry, it struck me that the odds
were on the side of the black man. The whites were
shiftless, ragged, and starving; the black well clad,
cleanly, energetic, and as much above the others in in-
tellect as Jupiter is above a church steeple. To be sure,
color was against him, and he was, after all, a servant
in the land of chivalry and of servant-owners. Of course
the woman was right.
She soon resumed the conversation with this re-
"Reckon yer a stranger in these parts; whar d'ye
"From New York, madam."
"New York! whar's that?"
" It's a city at the North."
AMONG THE PINES.
"Oh! yas; I've heern tell on it: that's whar the Gunnel
sells his turpentime. Quite a place, arnt it?"
"Yes, quite a place. Something larger than all South
"What d'ye say? Larger nor South Carolina*
Kinder reckon tain't, is't?"
"Yes, madam, it is."
" Du tell ! 'Taint so large as Charles'n, is't ?"
" Yes, twenty times larger than Charleston."
" Lord o'massy ! How does all the folks live thar ?"
" Live quite as well as they do here."
"Ye don't have no niggers thar, does ye ?"
" Yes, but none that are slaves."
" Have Ablisherners thar, don't ye ? them people that
go agin the South ?"
" Yes, some of them."
" What do they go agin the South for ?"
" They go for freeing the slaves. Some of them think
a black man as good as a white one."
" Quar, that ; yer an Ablisherner, arnt ye ?"
" N"o, I'm an old-fashioned Whig."
" What's that ? Never heerd on them afore."
"An old-fashioned Whig, madam, is a man whose
political principles are perfect, and who is as perfect as
That was a " stumper" for the poor woman, who evi-
dently did aaot understand one-half of the sentence.
"Right sort of folks, them," she said, in a half inquir-
" Yes, but they're all dead now."
" Yes, dead, beyond the hope of resurrection."
" Iv'e heern all the dead war to be resurrected.
Didn't ye say ye war one on 'em ? Ye aint dead yet,"
said the woman, chuckling at having cornered me.
" But I'm more than half dead just now."
" Ah," replied the woman, still laughing, " yer a
" A chicken ! what's that ?"
" A thing that goes on tu legs, and karkles," was the
" Ah, my dear madam, you can out-talk me."
u Yas, I reckon I kin outrun ye, tu. Ye arnt over
rugged." Then, after a pause, she added — "What d'ye
'lect that darky, Linkum, President for ?"
"I didn't-elect him. I voted for Douglas. But Lin-
coln is not a darky."
" He's a mullater, then ; I've heern he war," she replied.
" No, he's not a mulatto ; he's a rail-splitter."
" Rail-splitter ? Then he's a nigger, shore"
" No, madam ; white men at the North split rails."
" An' white wimmin tu, p'raps," said the woman, with
a contemptuous toss of the head.
" No, they don't," I replied, " but white women work
" White wimmin work thar !" chimed in the hitherto
speechless beauty, showing a set of teeth of the exact
color of her skin — yaller. "What du the' du ?"
AMONG THE PIKES.
" Some of them attend in stores, some set type, some
teach school, and some work in factories."
" Du tell ! Dress nice, and make money ?"
" Yes," I replied, " they make money, and dress like
fine ladies ; in fact, are fine ladies. I know one young
woman, of about your age, that had to get her own edu-
cation, who earns a thousand dollars a year by teaching,
and I've heard of many factory-girls who support their
parents, and lay by a great deal of money, by working
in the mills."
" Wal !" replied the young woman, with a contemptu-
ous curl of her matchless upper lip ; " schule-marms arn't
fine ladies ; fine ladies don't work ; only niggers works
har. I reckon I'd ruther be 'spectable than work for a
I could but think how magnificently the lips of some
of our glorious Yankee girls would have curled had
they have heard that remark, and have seen the poor girl
that made it, with her torn, worn, greasy dress; her
bare, dirty legs and feet, and her arms, neck, and face so
thickly encrusted with a layer of clayey mud that there
was danger of hydrophobia if she went near a wash-tub.
Restraining my involuntary disgust, I replied :
"We at the North think work is respectable. We
do not look down on a man or a woman for earning their
daily bread. We all work."
" Yas, and that's the why ye'r all sech cowards," said
the old woman.
" Cowards !" T said ; " who tells you that?"
" My old man ; he says one on our boys can lick five
of your Yankee men"
" Perhaps so. Is your husband away from home ?"
" Yas, him and our Cal. ar down to Charles'n." •
" Cal. is your son, is he ?"
" Tas, he's my oldest, and a likely lad he ar tu— he's
twenty-one, and his name are John Cal'oun Mills.
He's gone a troopin' it with his fader."
" What, both gone and left you ladies here alone?"
" Yas, the Cunnel sed every man orter go, and they
warn't to be ahind the rest. The Cunnel — Cunnel J. —
looks arter us while they is away."
" But I should think the Colonel looked after you
poorly — giving you nothing to eat."
" Oh ! it's ben sech a storm to-day, the gals couldn't
go for the vittles, though 'tain't a great way. We'r
on his plantation; this house is his'n."
This last was agreeable news, and it occurred to
me that if we were so near the Colonel's we might
push on, in spite of the storm, and get there that
night ; so I said :
" Indeed ; I'm going to the Colonel's. How far is his
house from here ?"
" A right smart six mile ; it's at the Cross roads. Yo
know the Cunnel, du ye ?"
" Oh, yes, I know him well. If his house is not more
than six miles off, I think we had better go on to-night.
What do you say, Scip ?"
" I reckon we'd better gwo, massa," replied the darky,
AMONG THE PINES.
who had spread my travelling-shawl in the chimney-
corner, and was seated on it, drying his clothes.
"Te'd better not," said the woman; "ye'd better
stay har ; thar's a right smart run twixt har and the
Cunnel's, and Hain't safe to cross arter dark."
" If that is so we'd better 'Stay, Scip ; don't you think
so ?" I said to the darky. "
" Jess as you say, massa. We got fru wid de oder
one, and I reckon taint no wuss nor dat."
" The bridge ar carried away, and ye'll hev to swim
shore" said the woman. " Ye'd better stay."
" Thank you, madam, I think we will," I replied, after
a moment's thought ; " our horse has swum one of your
creeks to-night, and I dare not try another."
Having taken off my coat, I had been standing, during
the greater part of this conversation, in my shirt-sleeves
before the fire, turning round occasionally to facilitate
the drying process, and taking every now and then a sip
from the gourd containing our brandy and water ; aided
in the- latter exercise by the old woman and the eldest
girl, who indulged quite as freely as I did
" Mighty good brandy that," at last said the woman.
" Ye like brandy, don't ye?"
"Not very much, madam. I take it to-night because
I've been exposed to the storm, and it stimulates the cir-
culation. But Scip, here, don't like spirits. He'll get
the rheumatism because he don't."
" Don't like dem sort of sperits, massa ; but rumatics
neber trubble me."
" But I've got it mighty bad," said the woman, " and
I take 'em whenever I kin get 'em."
I rather thought she did, but I " reckoned" her prin-
cipal beverage was whiskey.
"You have the rheumatism, madam, because your
house is so open ; a draught of air is always unhealthy."
"I allers reckoned 'twar healthy" she replied. "Ye
Yankee folks have quar notions."
I looked at my watch, and found it was nearly ten
o'clock, and, feeling very tired, said to the hostess :
" Where do you mean we shall sleep ?"
u Ye can take that ar bed," pointing to the one near-
er the wall, " the darky can sleep har ;" motioning to
the settle on which she was seated.
u But where will you and your daughters sleep? I
don't wish to turn you out of your beds."
" Oh! don't ye keer for. us ; we kin all bunk together;
dun it afore. Like to turn in now ?"
" Yes, thank you, I would ;" and without more cere-
mony I adjourned to the further part of the room,
and commenced disrobing. Doffing my boots, waist-
coat, and cravat, and placing my watch and purse
under the pillow, I gave a moment's thought to what
a certain not very old lady, whom I had left at home,
might say when she heard of my lodging with a grass-
widow and three young girls, and sprang into bed.
There I removed my under-mentionables, which were
still too damp to sleep in, and in about two minutes and
thirty seconds sunk into oblivion.
AMONG THE PINES.
A few streaks of grayish light were beginning to
creep through the crevices in the logs, when a move-
ment at the foot of the bed awakened me, and glancing
downward I beheld the youngest girl emerging from
under the clothes at my feet. She had slept there,
" cross-wise," all night. A stir in the adjoining bed
soon warned me that the other feminines were pre-
paring to follow her example ; so, turning my face to
the wall, I feigned to be sleeping. Their toilet was
soon made, when they quietly left Scip and myself in
possession of the premises.
The darky rose as soon as they were gene, and, com-
ing to me, said :
" Massa, we'd better be gwine. I'se got your does
all dry, and you can rig up and breakfast at de Gun-
The storm had cleared away, and the sun was strug-
gling to get through the distant pines, when Scip
brought the horse to the door, and we prepared to
start. Turning to the old woman, I said :
" I feel greatly obliged to you, madam, for the shel-
ter you have given us, and would like to make you some
recompense for your trouble. Please to tell me what I
shall pay you." .
" Wal, stranger, we don't gin'rally take in lodgers,
but seem' as how as thar ar tu on ye, and ye've had a
good night on it, I don't keer if ye pay me tu dollars."
That struck me as " rather steep" for " common
doin's," particularly as we had furnished the food and
" the drinks ;" yet, saying nothing, I handed her a two-
dollar bank-note. She took it, and held it np curiously
to the sun for a moment, then handed it hack, saying,
" I don't know nuthin' 'bout that ar sort o' money ;
haint you got no silver ?"
I rumbled in my pocket a moment, and found a quar-
ter-eagle, which I gave her.
" Haint got nary a fip o' change," she said, as she
" Oh ! never mind the change, madam ; I shall want
to stop and look at you when I return," I replied, good-
" Ha ! ha ! yer a chicken," said the woman, at the
same time giving me a gentle poke in the ribs. Fear-
ing she might, in the exuberance of her joy at the sight
of the money, proceed to some more decided demonstra-
tion of affection, I hastily stepped into the wagon, bade
her good-by, and was off.
We were still among the pines, which towered gigan-
tically all around us, but were no longer alone. Every
tree was scarified for turpentine, and the forest was
alive with negro men and women gathering the " last
dipping," or clearing away the stumps and underbrush
preparatory to the spring work. It was Christmas
week; but, as I afterward learned, the Colonel's ne-
groes were accustomed to doing " half tasks" at that
season, beings paid for their labor as if they were free.
They stopped their work as we rode by, and stared at
us with a stupid, half-frightened curiosity, very much
AMONG THE PINES.
like the look of a cow when a railway train is passing.
It needed but little observation to convince me that
their status was but one step above the level of the
As we rode along I said to the driver, " Scip, what
did you think of our lodgings ?"
" Mighty pore, massa. Niggas lib better'n dat."
" Yes," I replied, " but ttase folks despise you blacks ;
they seem to be both poor and proud."
" Yas, massa, dey'm pore 'cause dey wont work, and
dey'm proud 'cause dey'r white. Dey wont work
'cause dey see de darky slaves doin' it, and tink it am
beneaf white folks to do as de darkies do. Dis habin'
slaves keeps dis hull country pore."
, u Who told you that ?" I asked, astonished at hear-
ing a remark showing so much reflection from a negro.
" Nobody, massa ; I see it myseff."
" Are there many of these poor whites around George-
" Not many 'round Georgetown, sar, but great many
in de up-country har, and dey'm all 'like — pore and no
account ; none ob 'em kin read, and dey all eat clay."
" Eat clay !" I said ; " what do you mean by that ?"
" Didn't you see, massa, how yaller all dem wimmin
war ? Dat's 'cause dey eat clay. De little children be-
gin 'fore dey kin walk, arid dey eat it till dey die ; dey
chaw it like 'backer. It makes all dar stumacs big, like
as you seed 'em, and spiles dar 'gestion. It 'm mighty
" Can it be possible that human beings do such
things ! The brutes wouldn't do that."
" No, massa, but dey do it ; dey'm pore trash. Dat's
what de big folks call 'em, and it am true ; dey'm loug
way lower down dan de darkies."
By this time we had arrived at the " run." We found
the bridge carried away, as the woman had told us ; but
its abutments were still standing, and over these planks
had been laid^ which afforded a safe crossing for foot-
passengers. To reach these planks, however, it was
necessary to wade into the stream for full fifty yards,
the " run" having overflowed its banks for that distance
on either side of the bridge. The water was evidently
receding, but, as we could not well wait, like the man
in the fable, for it all to run by, we alighted, and coun-
selled as to the best mode of making the passage.
Scip proposed that he should wade in to the first
abutment, ascertain the depth of the stream, and then,
if it was not too deep for the horse to ford to that
point, drive that far, get out, and walk to the end of
the planking, leading the horse, and then again mount
the wagon at the further end of the bridge. We were
sure the horse would have to swim in the middle of the
current, and perhaps for a considerable distance beyond;
but, having witnessed his proficiency in aquatic per-
formances, we had no doubt he would get safely across.
The darky's plan was decided on, and divesting him,
self of his trowsers, he waded into the " run" to take
84 AMONG THE PINES.
While he was in the water my attention was at-
tracted to a printed paper, posted on one of the pines
near the roadside. Going up to it, I read as follows :
"Ran away from the subscriber, on Monday, November 12th, his
mulatto man, Sam. Said boy is stout-built, five feet nine inches
high, 31 years old, weighs 170 lbs., and walks very erect, and with
a quick, rapid gait. 'The American flag is tattooed on his right
arm above the elbow. There is a knife-cut over the bridge of his
nose, a fresh bullet- wound in his left thigh, and his back bears
marks of a recent whipping. He is supposed to have made his
way back to Dinwiddie County, Ya., where ho was raised, or to be
lurking in the swamps in tnis vicinity.
"The above reward will be paid for his confinement in any jail
in North or South Carolina, or Virginia, or for his delivery to the
subscriber on his plantation at .
" , December 2, 1860."
The name signed to this hand-bill was that of the
planter I was about to visit.
Scip having returned, and reported the stream forda-
ble to the bridge, I said to him, pointing to the " notice :"
" Read that, Seip."
He read it, but made no remark.
" What does it mean — that fresh bullet wound, and
the marks of a recent whipping ?" I asked.
" It mean, massa, dat de darky hab run away, and
ben took ; and dat when dey took him dey shot him,
and flogged him arter dat. Now, he hab run away
agin. De Gunnel's mighty hard on his niggas !"
" Is he ? I can scarcely believe that."
"He am, massa ; but he arnt so much to blame,
neither; dey'm awful bad, most ob 'em — so dey
Our conversation was here interrupted by our reach-
ing the bridge. After safely " walking the plank," and
making our way to the opposite bank, I resumed it
by asking :
"Why are the Colonel's negroes so particularly
" 'Cause, you see, massa, de turpentime business hab
made great profits for sum yars now, and de Cunnel
hab been gettin' rich bery fass. He put all his
money, jes so fass as he make it, into darkies, so to
make more ; for he's got bery big plantation, and need
nuffin' but darkies to work it to make money jess like a
gold mine. He goes up to Virginny to buy niggas;
and up dar now dey don't sell none less dey'm bad uns,
% cep when sum massa die or git pore. Virginny darkies
dat cum down har aint gin'raily ob much account.
Dey'm either kinder good-for-numn, or dey'm ugly ;
and de Cunnel 'd ruther hab de ugly dan de no-account
" How many negroes has he ?"
"'Bout two hundred, men and wimmin, I b'lieve,
" It can't be pleasant for his family to remain in such
an out-of-the-way place, with so bad a gang of negroes
about them, and no white people near."
86 AMONG THE PINES
" No, massa, not in dese times ; but de missus and
de young lady arnt dar now."
" Not there now ? The Colonel said nothing to me
about that. Are you. sure ?"
" Oh yas, massa ; I seed 'em gwo off on de boat to
Charles'n most two weeks ago. Dey don't mean to
eum back till tings am more settled ; dey'm 'fraid to
"Would it be safe for the Colonel there, if a dis-
turbance broke out among the slaves."
" 'T wouldn't be safe den anywhar, sar ; but de Cun-
nel am a bery brave man. He'm better dan twenty of
" Why better than twenty of his niggers ?"
" 'Cause dem ugly niggas am gin'rally cowards. De
darky dat is quiet, 'spectful, and does his duty, am de
brave sort ; dexfll fight, massa, till dey'm cut down."
We had here reached a turn in the road, and passing
it, came suddenly upon a coach, attached to which were
a pair of magnificent grays, driven by a darky in livery.
" Hallo, dar !" said Scip to the driver, as we came
nearly abreast of the carriage. " Am you Cunnel
J 's man ?"
" Tas, I is dat," replied the darky.
At this moment a woolly head, which I recognized at
once as that of the Colonel's man " Jim," was thrust
from the window of the vehicle.
" Hallo, Jim," I said. " How do you do ? I'm glad
to see you."
"Lor bress me, Massa K , am dat you?" ex-
claimed the astonished negro, hastily opening the door,
and coming to me. " Whar did you cum from? I'ge
mighty glad to see you ;" at the same time giving my
hand a hearty shaking. I must here say, in justice to
the reputation of South Carolina, that no respectable
Carolinian refuses to shake hands with a black man,
unless — the black happens to be free.
" I thought I would'nt wait for you," I replied.
" But how did you expect to get on ? the ' runs' have
swollen into rivers."
" We got a ' flat' made for dis one — it's down by
dis time — de oders we tought we'd get ober sum-
" Jim, this is Scip," I said, seeing the darkies took
no notice of each other.
"How d'ye do, Scip/o?" said Jim, extending his
hand to him. A look of singular intelligence passed
over the faces of the two negroes as their hands met ; it
vanished in an instant, and was so slight that none but
a close observer would have detected it, but some words
that Scip had previously let drop had put me on the
alert, and I felt sure it had- a hidden significance.
" Wont you get into de carriage, massa ?" inquired
" No, thank you, Jim. I'll ride on with Scip. Our
horse is jaded, and you had better go ahead."
Jim mounted the driver's seat, turned the carriage,
and drove off at a brisk pace to announce our coming
88 AMONG THE PINES.
at the plantation, while Scip and I rode on at a slower
" Scip, did you know Jim before ?" I asked.
" Hab seed him afore, massa, but neber know'd him."
" How is it that you have lived in Georgetown five
years, and have not known him?"
" I cud hab know'd him, massa, good many time, ef
I'd liked, but darkies hab to be careful."
" Careful of what ?"
" Careful ob who dey knows ; good many bad niggat
" Pshaw, Scip, you're ' coming de possum ;' there
isn't a better nis^er than Jim in all South Carolina. I
know him well."
" P'raps he am ; reckon he am a good 'nufF nigga."
" Good enough nigga, Scip ! Why, I tell you he's a
splendid fellow ; just as true as steel. He's been North
with the Colonel, often, and the Abolitionists have tried
to get him away ; he knew he could go, but wouldn't
oudge an inch."
" I knew he wouldn't," said the darky, a pleasurable
gleam passing through his eyes ; " dat sort don't run ;
dey face de music !"
" Why don't they run ? What do you mean by
facing the music ?"
" Nuffin' massa — only dey'd ruther stay har."
" Come, Scip, you've played this game long enough.
Tell me, now, what that look you gave each other when
you shook hands meant."
"What look, massa? Oh! I s'pose 'twar 'cause
we'd both heerd ob each oder afore."
" 'Twas more than that, Scip. Be frank ; you know
you can trust me."
" Wal, den, massa," he replied hesitatingly, adding,
after a short pause, " de ole woman called you a Yan-
kee, sar — you can guess." «
" If I should guess, 't would be that it meant mis-
" It don't mean mischief, sar," said the darky, with a
tone and air that would not have disgraced a Cabinet
officer ; " it mean only Right and Justice."
" It means that there is some secret understanding
" I toled you, massa," he replied, relapsing into his
usual manner, " dat de blacks am all Freemasons. I
gabe Jim de grip, and he knowd me. He'd ha knowd
my name ef you hadn't toled him."
" Why would he have known your name ?"
" 'Cause I gabe de grip, dat tole him."
" Why did he call you Scip/o ? I called you Scip"
" Oh ! de darkies all do dat. Nobody but de white
folks call me Scip* I can't say no more, massa ; I shud
BREAK DE OATH EF I DID !"
u You have said enough to satisfy me that there is a
secret league among the blacks, and that you are a leader
in it. Now, I tell you, you'll get yourself into a scrape.
I've taken a liking to you, Scip, and I should be very
sorry to see you run yourself into danger."
90 AMONG THE PINES.
" I tank you, massa, from de bottom ob my soul I
tank you," he said, as the tears moistened his eyes.
" Tou bery kind, massa ; it do me good to talk wid
you. But what am my life wuth? What am any
slave's life wuth? Ef you war me yov?d do like
I could not deny it, and I«made no reply.
The writer is aware that he is here making an impor-
tant statement, and one that may be called in question
by those persons who are accustomed to regard the
Southern blacks as only reasoning brutes. The great
mass of them are but a little above the brutes in their
habits and instincts, but a large body are fully on a par,
except in mere book-education, with their white mas-
The conversation above recorded is, verbatim et liter-
atim, true. It took place at the time indicated, and
was taken down, as were other conversations recorded
in this book, within twenty-four hours after its occur-
rence. The name and the locality, only, I have, for .very
evident reasons, disguised.
From this conversation, together with others, held
with the same negro, and from after developments
made to me at various places, and at different times,
extending over a period of six weeks, I became ac-
quainted with the fact that there exists among the
blacks a secret and wide-spread organization of a Ma-
sonic character, having its grip, pass-word, and oath.
It has various grades of leaders, who are competent
and earnest men, and its ultimate object is Freedom.
It is quite as secret and wide-spread as the order of the
" Knights of the Golden Circle," the kindred league
among the whites.
This latter organization, which was- instituted by-
John C. Calhoun, William L. Porcher, and others, as
far back as 1835, has for irf sole object the dissolution
of the Union, and the establishment of a Southern Em-
pire — Empire is the word, not Confederacy, or Repub-
lic ; and it was solely by means of its secret but power-
ful machinery that the Southern States were plunged
into revolution, in defiance of the will of a majority of
their voting population.
Nearly every man of influence at the South (and
many a pretended Union man at the North) is a
member of this organization, and sworn, under the pen-
alty of assassination, to labor " in season and out of
season, by fair means and by foul, at all times, and all
occasions," for the accomplishment of its object. The
blacks are bound together by a similar oath, and only
hide their time.
The knowledge of the real state of political affairs
which the negroes have acquired through this organiza-
tion is astonishingly accurate ; their leaders possess every
essential of leadership — except, it may be, military skill
— and they are fully able to cope with the whites.
The negro whom I call Scipio, on the day when Major
Anderson evacuated Fort Moultrie, and before he or I
knew of that event, winch set all South Carolina in a
AMONG THE FINES.
blaze, foretold to me the breaking out of this war in
Charleston harbor, and as confidently predicted that it
would result in the freedom of the slaves !
The fact of this organization existing is not positively
known (for the black is more subtle and crafty t^au
any thing human), but it is suspected by many of the
whites, the more moderate of whom are disp < ^ed to
ward off the impending blow by some system of grad-
ual emancipation — declaring all black children born
after a certain date free — or by some other action that
will pacify and keep down the slaves. These persons,
however, are but a small minority, and possess no polit-
ical power, and the South is rushing blindly on to a
catastrophe, which, if not averted by the action of our
government, will make the horrors of San Domingo
and the French Revolution grow pale in history.
I say the action of our government, for with it rests
the responsibility. What the black wants is freedom.
Give him that, and he will have no incentive to insur-
rection. If emancipation is proclaimed at the head ot
our armies — emancipation for all — confiscation for the
slaves of rebels, compensation for the slaves of loyal
citizens — the blacks will rush to the aid of our troops,
the avenging angel will pass over the homes of the
many true and loyal men who are still left at the South,
and the thunderbolts of this war will fall only — where
they should fall — on the heads of its blood-stained au-
thors. If this is not done, after we have put down the
whites we shall have to meet the blacks, and after we
have waded knee-deep in the blood of both, we shall
end the war where it began, but with the South deso-
lated by fire and sword, the North impoverished and
loaded down with an everlasting debt, and our once
proud, happy, and glorious country the by-word and
scorn of the civilized world.
Slavery is the very bones, marrow, and life-blood of
this rebellion, and it cannot be crushed till we have
destroyed that accursed institution. If a miserable
peace is patched up before a death-stroke is given to
slavery, it will gatner new strength, and drive freedom
from this country forever. In the nature of things it
cannot exist in the same hemisphere with liberty.
Then let every man who loves his country determine
that if this war must needs last for twenty years, it
shall not end until this root of all our political evils is
weeded out forever.
A short half-hour took us to the plantation, where I
found the Colonel on the piazza awaiting me. After
our greeting was over, noticing my soiled and rather
dilapidated condition, he inquired where I had passed
the night. I told him, when he burst into a hearty fit of
laughter, and for several days good-naturedly bantered
me about "putting up" at the most aristocratic hotel in
South Carolina— the "Mills House."
We soon entered the mansion, and the reader will, I
trust, pardon me, if I leave him standing in its door- way
till another chapter.
94 AMONG THE PINES.
ON THE PLANTATION.
The last chapter left the reader in the door-way of
the Colonel's mansion. Before entering, we will linger
there awhile and survey the outside of the premises.
The house stands where two roads meet, and, unlike
most planters' dwellings, is located in full view of the
highway. It is a rambling, disjointed structure, thrown
together with no regard to architectural rules, and yet
there is a rude harmony in its very irregularities that
has a pleasing effect. The main edifice, with a frontage
of nearly eighty feet, is only one and a half, stories high,
and is overshadowed by a broad projecting roof, which
somehow, though in a very natural way, drops down at
the eaves, and forms the covering of a piazza, twenty
feet wide, and extending across the entire front of the
house. At its south-easterly angle, the roof is truncated,
and made again to form a covering for the piazza, which
there extends along a line of irregular buildings for sixty
yards. A portion of the verandah on this side being
enclosed, forms a bowling-alley and smoking-room, two
essential appendages to a planter's residence. The whole
structure is covered with yeilow.-pine weather boarding,
which in some former age was covered with paint of a
grayish brown color. This, in many places, has peeled
ON THE PLANTATION.
off and allowed the sap to ooze from the pine, leaving
every here and there large blotches on the surface, some-
what resembling the " warts" I have seen on the trunks
of old trees.
The house is encircled by grand C id pines, whose tall,
upright stems, soaring eighty anc ninety feet in the air,
make the low hamlet seem lower by the contrast. They
have stood there for centuries, tl iir rough, shaggy coats
buttoned close to their chins, an 1 their long green locks
waving in the wind ; but the lc lg knife has b^en thrust
into their veins, and their life-} lood is now fas* oozing
With the exception of the Legro huts, which are scat-
tered at irregular intervals through the woods in the
rear of the mansion, there is not a human habitation
within an hour's ride ; but such a cosy, inviting, hos-
pitable atmosphere surrounds the whole place, that a
stranger does not realize he has happened upon it m a
The interior of the dwelling is in keeping with the
exterior, though in the drawing-rooms, where rich fur-
niture and fine paintings actually lumber the apartments,
there is evident the lack of a nice perception of the "fit-
ness of things," and over the whole hangs a " dusty air,"
which reminds one that the Milesian Bridget does not
" flourish" in South Carolina.
I was met in the entrance-way by a tall, fine-looking
woman, to whom the Colonel introduced me as fol
AMONG THE PESTES.
" Mr. K , this is Madam P , my housekeeper ;
she will try to make you forget that Mrs. J is ab-
After a few customary courtesies were exchanged, I
was shown to a dressing-room, and with the aid of
Jim, a razor, and one of the Colonel's shirts — all of
mine having undergone a drenching — soon made a tol-
erably presentable appearance. The negro then con-
ducted me to the breakfast-room, where I found the
It consisted, besides the housekeeper, of a tall, raw-
boned, sandy-haired personage, with a low brow, a blear
eye, and a sneaking look— the overseer of the planta-
tion ; and of a well-mannered, intelligent lad — with the
peculiarly erect carriage and uncommon blending of
good-natured ease and dignity which distinguished my
host — who was introduced to me as the housekeeper's
Madam P , who presided over the " tea-things,"
was a person of perhaps thirty-five, but a rich olive com-
plexion, enlivened by a delicate red tint, and relieved
by thick masses of black hair, made her appear to a
casual observer several years younger. Her face bore
vestiges of great beauty, which time, and, perhaps, care,
had mellowed but not obliterated, and her conversation
indicated high cultivation. She had evidently mingled
in refined society in this country and in Europe, and it
was a strange freak of fortune that had reduced her to
a menial condition in the family of a backwoods planter.
ON THE PLANTATION.
After some general conversation, the Colonel remarked
that his wife and daughter would pass the winter in
"And do you remain on the plantation?" I in-
" Oh yes, I am needed here," he replied ; " but Mad-
am's son is with my family."
"Madam's son!" I exclaimed in astonishment, forget-
ting in my surprise that the lady was present.
" Yes, sir," she remarked, " my oldest boy is twenty."
" Excuse me, Madam ; I forgot that in your climate
one never grows old."
" There you are wrong, sir ; I'm sure I feel old when
I think how soon my boys will be men."
" Not old yet, Alice," said the Colonel, in a singularly
familiar tone ; " you seem to me no older than when you
" You have been long acquainted," I remarked, not
knowing exactly what to say.
"Oh, yes," replied my host, "we were children to-
" Your Southern country, Madam, affords a fine field
for young men of enterprise.* »
" My eldest son resides in Germany," replied the lady.
"He expects to make that country his home. He would
have passed his examination at Heidelberg this au-
tumn had not circumstances called him here."
" You are widely separated," I replied.
" Yes, sir ; his father thinks it best, and I suppose it
AMONG THE PINES.
is. Thomas, here, is to return with his brother, and I
may live to see neither of them again."
My curiosity was naturally much excited to learn
more, but nothing further being volunteered, and the
conversation soon turning to other topics, I left the table
with it unsatisfied.
After enjoying a quiet hour with the Colonel in the -
smoking-room, he invited me to join him in a ride over
the plantation. I gladly assented, and Jim shortly an-
nounced the horses were in waiting. That darky, who
invariably attended his master when the latter pro-
ceeded from home, accompanied us. As we were
mounting I bethought me of Scip, and asked where he
" He'm gwine to gwo, massa, and want to say good-
by to you."
It seemed madness for Scip to start on a journey of
seventy miles without rest, so I requested the Colonel
to let him remain till the next day. He cheerfully as-
sented, and sent Jim to find him. While waiting for
the darky, I spoke of how faithfully he had served me
during my journey.
" He's a splendid nigger," replied the Colonel ; " worth
his weight in. gold. If afiairs were more settled I would
" But Colonel A tells me he is too intelligent.
He objects to c Snowing' niggers."
" I do not," replied my host, " if they are honest, and
I would trust Scip with uncounted gold. Look at hini,"
ON THE PLANTATION.
he continued, as the negro approached ; " were flesh and
bones ever better put together ?"
The darky was a fine specimen of sable humanity, and
I readily understood why the practiced eye of the Col-
onel appreciated his physical developments.
" Scip," I said, " you must not think of going to-day ;
the Colonel will be glad to let you remain until you are
" Tank you, massa, tank you bery much, but de ole
man will spec' me, and I orter gwo."
"Oh, never mind old said the Colonel, "I'D
take care of him."
" Tank you, Cunnel, den I'll stay har till de mornin'."
Taking a by-path which led through the forest in the
rear, of the mansion, we soon reached a small stream,
and, following its course for a short distance, came upon
a turpentine distillery, which the Colonel explained to
me was one of three that prepared the product of his
plantation for market, and provided for his family of
nearly three hundred souls.
It was enclosed, or rather roofed, by a rude structure
of rough boards, which was open at the sides, and sus-
tained on a number of pine poles about thirty feet in
height, and bore a strong resemblance to the usual
covering of a New England haystack.
Three stout negro men, divested of all clothing except-
ing a pair of coarse gray trowsers and a red shirt — it
was a raw, cold, wintry day — and with cotton bandannas
bound about their heads, were " tending the still." The
AMONG THE PINES.
foreman stood on a raised platform level with its top,
but as we approached very quietly seated himself on a
turpentine barrel which a moment before he had rolled
over the mouth of the boiler. Another negro was below,
feeding the fire With "light wood," and a third was
tending the trough by which the liquid rosin found its
way into the semicircle of rough barrels intended for it?
"Hello, Junius, what in creation are you doing there ?"
asked the Colonel, as we approached, of the negro on the
" Holein' her down, Cunnel ; de ole ting got a mine
to blow up dis mornin' ; I'se got dis barrl up har to hole
" Why, you everlasting nigger, if the top leaks you'll
be blown to eternity in half a second."
. " Reckon not, massa ; be barrl and me kin hole her.
We'll take de risk." .
" Perhaps you will," said the Colonel, laughing, " but
I wont. Nigger property isn't of much account,' but
you're too good a darky, June, to be sent to the devil
for a charge of turpentine."
" Tank you, massa, but you dun kno' dis ole ting like
I do. You cudn't blow her up nohow; I'se tried her
afore dis way."
" Don't you do it again ; now mind ; if you do I'll
make a white man of you." (This I suppose referred to
a process of flaying with a whip; though the whip
is generally thought to redden, not whiten, the negro.)
ON THE PLANTATION.
The black did not seem at all alarmed, for he showed
his ivories in a broad grin as he replied, " Jess as you
say, massa ; you'se de boss in dis shanty."
Directing the fire to be raked out, and the still to
stand unused until it was repaired, the Colonel turned
his horse to go, when he observed that the third negro
was shoeless, and his feet chapped and swollen with the
cold. " Jake," he said, " where are your shoes ?"
" Wored out, massa."
" Worn out ! Why haven't you been to me ?"
" 'Cause, massa, I know'd you'd jaw ; you tole me I
wears 'em out mighty fass."
" Well, you do, that's a fact ; but go to Madam and
get a pair ; and you, June, you've been a decent nigger,
you can ask for a dress for Rosy. How is little June ?"
Mighty pore, massa; de ma'am war dar lass night
and dis mornin', and she reckun he'm gwine to gwo,
"Sorry to hear that," said the Colonel. "I'll go and
see him. Don't feel badly, June," he continued, for the
tears welled up to the eyes of the black man as he spoke
of his child ; " we all must die."
"I knows dat, massa, but it am hard to hab 'em
"Yes, it is, June, but we may save him."
" Ef you cud, massa ! Oh, ef you cud !" and the poor
darky covered his face with his great hands and sobbed
like a child.
We rode on to another "still," and there dismount
AMONG THE PINES.
' big, the Colonel explained to me the process of gathering
and manufacturing turpentine. The trees are "boxed"
and " tapped" early in the year, while the frost is still
in the ground. "Boxing" is the process of scooping a
cavity in the trunk of the tree by means of a peculiarly
shaped axe, made for the purpose ; " tapping" is scarify-
ing the rind of the wood above the boxes. This is never
done until the trees have been worked one season, but
it is then repeated year after year, till on many planta-
tions they present the marks of twenty and frequently
thirty annual " tappings," and are often denuded of bark
for a distance of thirty feet from the ground. The neces-
sity for this annual tapping arises from the fact that the
scar on the trunk heals at the end of a season, and the
sap will no longer run from it ; a fresh wound is there-
fore made each spring. The sap flows down the scari-
fied surface and collects in the boxes, which are emptied
six or eight times in a year, according to the length of
the season. This is the process of " dipping," and it is
done with a tin or iron vessel constructed to fit the
cavity in the tree.
The turpentine gathered from the newly boxed or
virgin tree is very valuable, on account of its producing
a peculiarly clear and white rosin, which is used in the
manufacture of the finer kinds of soap, and by "Rosin
the Bow." It commands, ordinarily, nearly five times
the price of the common article. When barrelled, the
turpentine is frequently sent to market in its crude state,
but more often is distilled on the plantation, the gath-
ON THE PLANTATION.
erers generally possessing means sufficient to own a
In the process 01 distilling, the crude turpentine is
" dunked" into the boiler through an opening in the
top — the same as that on which we saw Junius com
posedly seated — water is then poured upon it, the aper-
ture made tight by screwing down the cover and pack-
ing it with clay, a fire built underneath, and when the
heat reaches several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the
process of manufacture begins. The volatile and more
valuable part of the turpentine, by the action of the
heat, rises as vapor, then condensing flows off through
a pipe in the top of the still, and comes out spirits of
turpentine, while the heavier portion finds vent at a
lower aperture, and comes out rosin.
No article of commerce is so liable to waste and leak-
age as turpentine. The spirits can only be preserved in
tin cans, or in thoroughly seasoned oak barrels, made
tight by a coating of glue on the inner side. Though
the material for these barrels exists at the South in lux-
uriant abundance, they are all procured from the North,
and the closing of the Southern ports has now entirely
cut off the supply; for while the turpentine farmer may
Tnprovise coopers, he can by no process give the oak
timber the seasoning which is needed to render the bar-
rel spirit-tight. Hence it is certain that a large portion
of the last crop of turpentine must have gone to waste.
When it is remembered that the one State of North
Carolina exports annually nearly twenty millions in
104 AMONG THE PINES.
value of this product, and employs fully two-thirds of
its negroes in its production, it will be seen how dearly
the South is paying for the mad freak of secession. Put-
ting out of view his actual loss of produce, how does the
turpentine farmer feed and employ his negroes ? and
pressed as these blacks inevitably are by both hunger
and idleness, those proline breeders of sedition, what
will keep them quiet ?
" What effect will secession have on your business ?"
I asked the Colonel, after a while.
"A favorable one. I shall ship my crop direct to Livr
erpool and London, instead of selling it to New York
"But is not the larger portion of the turpentine crop
consumed at the North?"
"Oh, yes. We shall have to deal with the Yankees
anyhow, but we shall do as little with them as possible."
"Suppose the Yankees object to your setting up
by yourselves, and put your ports under lock and
"They wont do that, and if they do, England will
break the blockade."
"We may rap John Bull over the knuckles in that
event," I replied.
"Well, suppose you do ; what then?"
"Merely, England would not have a ship in six months
to carry your cotton. A war with her would ruin the
shipping trade of the North. Our marine would seek
employment at privateering, and soon sweep every
ON THE PLANTATION.
British merchant ship from the ocean. We could afford
to give up ten years' trade with you, and to put seces-
sion down by force, for the sake of a year's brush with
" But, my good friend, where would the British navy
be all this while ?"
"Asleep. The English haven't a steamer that can
catch a Brookhaven schooner. The last war proved
that government vessels are no match for privateers."
" Well, well ! but the Yankees wont fight."
" Suppose they do. Suppose they shut up your ports,
and leave you with your cotton and turpentine unsold ?
You raise scarcely any thing else — what would you
" We would turn our cotton fields into corn and
wheat. Turpentine-makers, of course, would suffer."
" Then why are not you a Union man ?"
" My friend, I have nearly three hundred mouths to
feed. I depend on the sale of my crop to give them food.
If our ports are closed, I cannot do it — they will starve,
and I be ruined. But sooner than submit to the dom-
ination of the cursed Yankees, I will see my negroes
starving, and my child a beggar !"
At this point in the conversation we arrived at the
negro shanty where the sick child was. Dismounting,
the Colonel and I entered.
The cabin was almost a counterpart of the "Mills
House," described in the previous chapter, but it had a
plank flooring, and was scrupulously neat and clean.
106 AMONG THE PINES.
The logs were stripped of bark, and whitewashed. A
bright, cheerful fire was blazing on the hearth, and an
air of rude comfort pervaded the whole interior. On a
low bed in the farther corner of the room lay the sick
child. He was a boy of about twelve years, and evi-
dently in the last stages of consumption. By his side,
bending over him as if to catch his almost inaudible
words, sat a tidy, youthful-looking colored woman,' his
mother, and the wife of the negro we had met at the
" still." Playing on the floor, was a younger child, per-
haps five years old, but while the faces of the mother
and the sick lad were of the hue of charcoal, his skin
by a process well understood at the South, had been
bleached to a bright yellow.
The woman took no notice of our entrance, but the
little fellow ran to the Colonel and caught hold of the
skirts of his coat in a free-and-easy way, saying, " Ole
massa, you got suffin' for Dicky ?"
" No, you little nig," replied the Colonel, patting his
woolly head as I might have done a white child's,
" Dicky isn't a good boy."
" Yas, I is," said the little darky; "you'se ugly ole
massa to gib nuffin' to Dick."
Aroused by the Colonel's voice, the woman turned
toward us. Her eyes were swollen, and her face bore
traces of deep emotion.
" Oh massa !" she said, " de chile am dyin' ! It'm all
along ob his workin' in de swamp — no man orter work
dar, let alone a chile like dis."
ON THE PLANTATION. 107
"Do you think he is dying, Rosy?" asked the Colonel,
approaching the bed-side.
" Shore, massa, he'm gwine fass. Look at 'im."
The boy had dwindled to a skeleton, and the skin lay
on his face in crimpled folds, like a mask of black crape.
His eyes were fixed, and he was evidently going.
" Don't you know massa, my bby ?" said the Colonel,
taking his hand tenderly in his.
The child's hps slightly moved, but I could hear no
sound. The Colonel put his ear down to him for a mo-
ment, then, turning to me, said :
" He is dying. Will you be so good as to step to the
house and ask Madam P here, and please tell Jim to
go for Junius and the old man."
I returned in a short while with the lady, but found
the boy's father and " the old man" — the darky preacher
of the plantation — there before us. The preacher was a
venerable old negro, much bowed by years, and with
thin wool as white as snow. When we entered, he was
bending over the dying boy, but shortly turning to my
host, said :
" Massa, de blessed Lord am callin' for de chile —
shall we pray ?"
The Colonel nodded assent, and we all, blacks and
whites, knelt down on the floor, while the old preacher
made a short, heart-touching prayer. It was a simple,
humble acknowledgment of the dependence of the crea-
ture on the Creator — of His right to give and to take
away, and was uttered in a free, conversational tone, as
AMONG THE PINES.
if long communion with his Maker had placed the old
negro on a footing of friendly familiarity with Him, and
given the black slave the right to talk with the Deity as
one man talks with another.
As we rose from our knees my host said to me, " It is
my duty to stay here, but I will not detain you. Jim
will show you over the plantation. I will join you at
the house when this is over." The scene was a painful
one, and I gladly availed myself of the Colonel's sug-
Mounting our horses, Jim and I rofte off to the negro
house where Scip was staying.
Scip was not at the cabin, and the old negro woman
told us he had been away for several hours.
u Reckon he'll be 'way all day, sar," said Jim, as we
turned our horses to go.
" He ought to be resting against the ride of to-mor-
row. Where has he gone ?"
" Dunno, sar, but reckon he'm gwine to fine Sarm"
u Sam ? Oh, he's the runaway the Colonel has adver-
" Tas, sar, he'm 'way now more'n a monfh."
" How can Scip find him ?"
" Dunno, sar. Scipio know most ebery ting — reckon
he'll track him. He know him well, and Sam'll cum
back ef he say he orter."
" Where do you think Sam is ?"
" P'raps in de swamp."
" Where is the swamp ?"
ON THE PLANTATION.
" 'Bout ten mile from har."
" Ob, yes ! the shingles are cut there. I should think
a runaway would be discovered where so many men are
"No, massa, dar'm places dar whar de ole debble
cudn't fine him, nor de dogs nudder."
" I thought the bloodhounds would track a man any-
" Not fru de water, massa ; dey lose de scent in de
" But how can a man live there — how get food ?"
" De darkies clat work dar take 'em miff."
" Then the other negroes know where the runaways
are ; don't they sometimes betray them ?"
" Neber, massa ; a darky neber tells on anoder. De
Cunnel had a boy in dat swamp once good many
" Is it possible ! Did he come back ?"
" No, he died dar. Sum ob de hands found him
dead one mornin' in de hut whar he lib'd, and buried
" Why did Sam run away ?"
"'Cause de oberseer flog him. He use him bery
"What had Sam done ?"
" Nuffin, massa."
"Then why was he flogged ? Did the Colonel know
" Oh, yas ; Moye cum de possum ober de Cunnel, and
AMONG THE PINKS.
make him b'lieve Sam war bad. De Cunnel dunno de
hull ob dat story."
"Why didn't you tell him? The Colonel trusts
" 5 T wudn't hab dun no good ; de Cunnel wud hab
flogged me for tellin' on a wite man. Nigga's word
aint ob no account."
" What is the story about, Sam ?"
" You wont tell dat JTtole you, massa ?"
" No, but I'll tell the Colonel the truth."
" Wal den, sar, you see Sam's wife am bery good-
lookin', her skin's most wite — her mudder war a mulat-
ter, her fader a wite man — she lub'd Sam 'bout as well
as de wimmin ginrally lub dar husbands" (Jim was a
bachelor, and his observation of plantation morals had
given him but little faith in the sex), " but most ob 'em,
ef dey'm married or no, tink dey must smile on de wite
men, so Jule she smiled on de oberseer — so Sam tought
— and it made him bery jealous. He war sort o' sassy,
and de oberseer strung him up, and flog him bery hard.
Den Sam took to de swamp, but he didn't know whar
to gwo, and de dogs tracked him ; he'd ha' got 'way
dough ef ole Moye hadn't a shot him ; den he cudn't
run. Den Moye flogged him till he war 'most dead,
and arter dat chained him down in de ole cabin, and
gave him 'most nufnn' to eat. De Cunnel war gwine to
take Sam to Charles'on and sell him, but somehow he
got a file and sawed fru de chain and got 'way in de
night to de ' still.' Den when de oberseer come dar in
ON THE PLANTATION.
de mornin', Sam jump on him and 'most kill him. He'd
hab sent him whar dar aint no niggas, ef Junius hadn't
a holed him. Td a let de ole debble gwo."
" Junius, then, is a friend of the overseer."
" No, sar ; he haint no friends, 'cep de debble ; but
June am a good nigga, and he said 'twarn't right to kill
ole Moye so sudden, for den dar'd be' no chance for de
Lord to forgib him."
" Then Sam got away again ?"
" Oh yas ; nary one but darkies war round, and dey
wouldn't hole him. Ef dey'd cotched him den, dey'd
hung him, shore."
"Why hung him?"
"'Cause he'd struck a wite man; it 'm shore death to
"Do you think Scip will bring him back?"
"Yas; 'cause he'm gwine to tell massa de hull story.
De Cunnel will b'lieve Scipio ef he am brack. Sam'll
know dat, so he'll come back. De Cunnel'll make de
State too hot to hole ole Moye, when he fine him out."
"Does Sam's wife 'smile' on the overseer now?"
"No; she see de trubble she bring on Sam, and she
bery sorry. She wont look at a wite man now."
During the foregoing conversation, we had ridden for
several miles over the western half of the plantation,
and were again near the house. My limbs being de-
cidedly stiff and sore from the effect of the previous
day's journey, 1 decided to alight and rest until the
hour for dinner.
112 AMONG THE PINES.
I mentioned my jaded condition to Jim, who said:
" Dat's right, massa ; come in de house. I'll cure de
rumatics ; I knows how to fix dem."
Fastening the horses at the door, Jim accompanied
me to my sleeping-room, where he lighted a fire of pine
knots, which in a moment blazed up on the hearth and
sent a cheerful glow through the apartment; then, say-
ing he would return after stabling the horses, the darky
I took off my boots, drew the sofa near the fire, and
stretched myself at full length upon it. If ever mortal
was tired, "I reckon" I was. It seemed as though every
joint and bone in my body had lost the power of motion,
and sharp, acute pains danced along my nerves, as I have
seen the hghtning play along the telegraph wires. My
entire system. had the toothache.
Jim soon returned, bearing in one hand a decanter of
" Otard," and in the other a mug of hot water and a
" I'se got de stuff dat'll fix de rumatics, massa."
" Thank you, Jim; a glass will do me good. Where
did you get it ?" I asked, thinking it strange the Colonel
should leave his brandy-bottle within reach of the
negroes, who have an universal weakness for spirits.
" Oh, I keeps de keys ; de Cunnel hissef hab to come
to me when he want suffm' to warm hissef."
It was the fact ; Jim had exclusive charge of the wine-
cellar; in short, was butler, barber, porter, footman, and
body-servant, all combined.
ON THE PLANTATION.
"Now, massa, you lay right whan you is, and I'll
make you ober new in less dan no time."
And he did ; but I emptied the brandy-bottle. Lest
my temperance friends should be horror-stricken, I will
mention, however, that I took the fluid by external ab-
sorption. For all rheumatic sufferers, I would prescribe
hot brandy, in plentiful doses, a coarse towel, and an
active Southern darky, and if on the first application the
patient is not cured, the fault will not be the negro's.
Out of mercy to the chivalry, I hope our government,
in saving the Union, will not annihilate the order of
body-servants. They are the only perfect institution in
the Southern country, and, so far as I have seen, about
the only one worth saving.
The dinner-bell sounded a short while after Jim had
finished the scrubbing operation, and I went to the table
with an appetite I had not felt for a week. My whole
system was rejuvenated, and I am not sure that I should,
at that moment, have declined a wrestling match with
I found at dinner only the overseer and the young son
of Madam P , the Colonel and the lady being still at
the cabin of the dying boy. The dinner, though a queer
mixture of viands, would not have disgraced, except,
perhaps, in the cooking, the best of our Northern hotels.
Venison, bacon, wild fowl, hominy, poultry, corn bread,
French "made-dishes," and Southern "common doin's,"
with wines and brandies of the choicest brands, were
placed on the table together.
AMONG THE PINES.
"Dis, massa," said Jim, "am de raal juice; it hab been
in de cellar eber since de house war built. Massa tole
me to gib you some, wid him complimen's."
Passing it to my companions, I drank the Colonel's
health in as fine wine as I ever tasted.
I had taken an instinctive dislike to the overseer at
the breakfast-table, and my aversion was not lessened
by learning his treatment of Sam; curiosity to know
w r hat manner of man he was, however, led me, toward ,*
the close of our meal, to " draw him out," as follows :
"What is the political sentiment, sir, of this section
of the State?"
"Wal, I reckon most of the folks 'bout bar' is Union;
they'm from the 'old North,' and gin'rally pore trash."
"1 have heard that the majority of the turpentine-
farmers are enterprising men and good citizens — more
enterprising, even, than the cotton and rice planters."
"Wal, they is enterprisin', 'cause they don't keer for
nuthin' 'cep' money."
"The man who is absorbed in money-getting is gen-
erally a quiet citizen."
"P'raps that's so. But I think a man sh'u'd hev a
soul suthin' 'bove dollars. Them folks will take any
sort o' sarce from the Yankees, ef they'll only buy thar
"What do you suffer from the Yankees?"
"Suffer from the Yankees? Don't they steal our
niggers, and haint they 'lected an ab'lishener for Presi-
ON THE PLANTATION.
" I've been at the North lately, but I am not aware
that is so."
"So! it's damnably so, sir. I knows it. We don't
mean to stand it eny longer."
"What will you do?"
"We'll give 'em h — 1, ef they want it!"
"Will it not be necessary to agree among yourselves
before you do that? I met a turpentine farmer below
here who openly declared that he is friendly to abolish-
ing slavery. He thinks the masters ' can make more
money by hiring than by owning the negroes."
"Yes, that's the talk of them North County* fellers,
who've squatted round har. We'll hang every mother's
son on 'em, by ."
"I wouldn't do that: in a free country every man has
a right to his opinions."
"Not to sech opinions as them. A man may think,
but he mustn't think onraasonable."
" I don't know, but it seems to me reasonable, that if
* The "North Counties" are the north-eastern portion of North Carolina, and
include the towns of Washington and Newbern. They are an old turpentine
region, and the trees are nearly exhausted. The finer virgin forests of South
Carolina, and other cotton States, have tempted many of the North County
farmers to emigrate thither, within the past ten years, and they now own nearly
all the trees that are worked in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. They gen-
erally have few slaves of their own, their hands being hired of wealthier men in
their native districts. The "hiring" is an annual operation, and is done at Christ-
mas time, when the negroes are frequently allowed to go home. They treat the
slaves well give them an allowance of meat (salt pork or beef), as much corn as
they can eat, and a gill of whiskey daily. No class of men at the South is so
Industrious, energetic, and enterprising. Though not so well informed, they have
many of the traits of our Ne v England farmers; in fact, are frequently called
" North Carolina Yankees. 11 It was these people the overseer proposed to hang.
The reader will doubtless think that " hanging was not good enough for them. 1 '
AMONG THE PINES.
the negroes cost these farmers now one hundred and
fifty dollars a year, and they could hire them, if free, for
seventy-five or a hundred, that they would make by
"Ab'lish'n! By — , sir, ye aint an ab'lishener, is ye?"
exclaimed the fellow, in an excited manner, bringing his
hand down on the table in a way that set the crockery
" Come, come, my friend," I replied, in a mild tone,
and as unruffled as a pool of water that has been out of
a December night ; " you'll knock off the dinner things,
and I'm not quite through."
u Wal, sir, I've heerd yer from the Xorth, and I'd like
to know if yer an ab'lishener."
" My dear sir, you surprise me. You certainly can't
expect a modest man like me to speak of himself."
"Ye can speak of what ye d — please, but ye can't
talk aVlish'n har, by — ," he said, again applying his
hand to the table, till the plates and saucers jumped up,
performed several jigs, then several reels, and then rolled
over in graceful somersaults to the floor.
At this juncture, the Colonel and Madam P
Observing the fall in his crockery, and the general
confusion of things, my host quietly asked, "What's
to pay ?"
I said nothing, but burst into a fit of laughter at the
awkward predicament of the overseer. That gentleman
also said nothing, but looked as if he would like to find
ON THE PLANTATION.
vent through a rat-hole or a window-pane. Jim, how-
ever, who stood at the back of my chair, gave his elo-
quent thoughts utterance, very much as follows :
" Moye hab 'suited Massa K , Cunnel, awful bad.
He hab swore a blue streak at him, and called him a
d — ab'lishener, jess 'cause Massa K Tvudn't get mad
and sass him back. He hab disgrace your hosspital,
Cunnel, wuss dan a nigga."
The Colonel turned white with rage, and striding up
to Moye, seized him by the throat, yelling, rather than
speaking, these words : "You d
, have you dared to insult a guest in my house?"
" I did'nt mean to 'suit him," faltered out the overseer,
his voice running through an entire octave, and chang-
ing with the varying pressure of the Colonel's fingers
on his throat ; " but he said he war an ab'lishener."
" No matter what he said, he is my guest, and in my
house he shall say what, he pleases, by — . Apologize to
him, or I'll send you to h — in a second."
The fellow turned cringingly to me, and ground out
something like this, every word seeming to give him the
" I meant no offence, sar ; I hope ye'll excuse me."
This satisfied me, but, before I could reply, the Colonel
again seized him by the throat and yelled :
"None of your sulkiness; you d — white-livered hound,
ask the gentleman's pardon like a man."
The fellow then got out, with less effort than before:
"I 'umbly ax yer pardon, sar, very 'umbly, indeed."
AMONG THE PINES.
" I am satisfied, sir," I replied. " I bear you no ill-
" Now go," said the Colonel ; " and in future take
your meals in your cabin. I have none but gentlemen
at my table."
The fellow went. As soon as he closed the door, the
Colonel said to me :
" Now, my dear friend, I hope you will pardon me for
this occurrence. I sincerely regret you have been in-
sulted in my house."
" Don't speak of it, my dear sir ; the fellow is igno-
rant, and really thinks I am an abolitionist. His zeal
in politics led to his warmth. I blame him very lit-
tle," I replied.
"But he lied, Massa K ," chimed in Jim, very
warmly ; " you neber said you war an ab'lishener."
" You know what they are, Jim, don't you ?" said the
Colonel, laughing, and taking no notice of his breach of
decorum in wedging black ideas into a white conver-
" Yas, I does dat," said the darky, grinning.
"Jim," said his master, "you're a prince of a nigger,
but you talk too much ; ask me for something to-day, and
I reckon you'll get it ; but go now, and tell Chloe (the
cook) to get us some dinner."
The negro left, and, excusing myself, I soon followed
I went to my room, laid down on the lounge, and soon
fell asleep. It was nearly five o'clock when a slight
ON THE PLANTATION.
noise in the apartment awoke me, and, looking up, I
saw the Colonel quietly seated by the fire, smoking a
cigar. His feet were elevated above his head, and he
appeared absorbed in no very pleasant reflections.
" How is the sick boy, Colonel ?" I asked.
" It's all over with him, my friend. He* died easy ;
but 'twas very painful to me; I feel I have done him
"How so ?"
" I was away all summer, and that cursed Moye sent
him to the swamp to tote for the shinglers. It killed
" Then you are not to blame," I replied.
" I wish I could feel so."
The Colonel remained with me till supper-time, evi-
dently much depressed by the events of the morning,
which had affected him more than I should have thought
possible. I endeavored, by directing his mind to other
topics, to cheer him, and in a measure succeeded.
While we were seated at the supper table, the black
cook entered from the kitchen — a one-story shanty, de-
tached from, and in the rear of the house — and, with a
face expressive of every conceivable emotion a negro can
feel — joy, sorrow, wonder, and fear all combined — ex-
claimed, " O massa, massa! dear massa! Sam, O Sam!"
" Sam !" said the Colonel ; " what about Sam ?"
"Why, he hab — dear, dear massa, don't yer, don't yer
hurt him — he hab come back !"
If a bombshell had fallen in the room, a greater sen-
AMONG THE PINES.
sation could not have been produced. Every individual
arose from the table, and the Colonel, striding up and
down the apartment, exclaimed :
" Is he mad ? The everlasting fool ! Why in h — has
he come back ?"
" Oh, don't ye hurt him massa," said the black cook,
wringing her hands. " Sam hab been bad, bery bad, but
he won't be so no more."
"Stop your noise, aunty," said the Colonel, but with no
harshness in his tone. " I shall do what I think right."
" Send for him, David," said Madame P ; " let us
hear what he has t o say. Pie would not come back -if he
meant to be ugly."
"Send for him, Alice!" repliec^ my host. "He's
prouder than Lucifer, and would send me word to come
to him. I will go. Will you accompany me, Mr.
K ? You'll hear what a runaway nigger thinks of
slavery: Sam has the gift of speech, and uses it regard-
less of persons."
" Yes, sir, I'll go with pleasure."
It was about an hour after nightfall when we emerged
from the door of the mansion and took our way to the
negro quarters. The full moon had risen half way above
the horizon, and the dark pines cast their shadows
around the little collection of negro huts, which strag-
gled about through the woods for the distance of a third
of a mile. It was dark, but I could distinguish the fig-
ure of a man striding along at a rapid pace a few hun-
dred yards in advance of us.
ON THE PLANTATION.
" Is'nt that Moye ?" I asked the Colonel, directing his
attention to the receding figure.
"I reckon so ; that's his gait. He's had a lesson to-
day that'll do him good."
" I don't like that man's looks," I replied, carelessly ;
" but I've heard of singed cats."
" He is a sneaking d — 1," said the Colonel ; " but he's
very valuable to me. I never had an overseer who got
so much work out of the hands."
" Is he severe with them ?"
" Well, I reckon he is ; but a nigger is like a dog —
yon must flog him to make him like you."
" I judge your niggers haven't been flogged into liking
"Why, have you heard any of them speak of him?"
" Yes ; though, of course, I've made no effort to draw
gossip from them. ■ I had to hear."
" O yes ; I know ; there's no end to their gabble ; nig-
gers will talk. But what have you heard?"
" That Moye is to blame in this affair of Sam, and that
you clon't know the whole story."
"What is the whole story?" he asked, stopping short
in the road ; " tell me before I see Sam."
I then told him what Jim had recounted to me. He
heard me through attentively, then laughingly exclaimed:
" Is that all ! Lord bless you, he didn't seduce her.
There's no seducing these women; with them it's a
thing of course. It was Sam's d — high blood that made
the trouble. His father was the proudest man in Vir-
AMONG THE PINES.^
ginia, and Sam is as like him as a nigger can be like a
" N o matter what the blood is, it seems to me such an
injury justifies revenge."
" Pshaw, my good fellow, you don't know these peo-
ple. I'll stake my plantation against a glass of whiskey
there's not a virtuous woman with a drop of black blood
in her veins in all South Carolina. They prefer the white
men ; their husbands know it, and take it as a matter of
"VVe had here reached the negro cabin. It was one of
the more remote of the collection, and stood deep in the
woods, an enormous pine growing up directly beside
the doorway. In all respects it was Jike the other huts
on the plantation. A bright fire lit up its interior, and
through the crevices in the logs we saw, as we ap-
proached, a scene that made us pause involuntarily,
when within a few rods of the house. The mulatto man,
whose clothes were torn and smeared with swamp mud,
stood near the fire. On a small pine table near him lay
a large carving-knife, which glittered in the blaze, as if
recently sharpened. His wife was seated on the side of
the low bed at his back, weeping. She was two or three
shades lighter than the man, and had the peculiar brown,
kinky hair, straight, flat nose, and speckled, gray eyes
which mark the metif. Tottling on the floor at the feet
of the man, and caressing his knees, was a child of per-
haps two years.
As we neared the house, we heard the voice of the
ON THE PLANTATION.
overseer issuing from the doorway on the other side of
" Come out, ye black rascal."
" Come in, you wite hound, ef you dar," responded
the negro, laying his hand on the carving-knife.
" Come out, I till ye ; I sha'n't ax ye agin."
"I'll hab nuffin' to do wid you. GVay and send
your massa har," replied the mulatto man, turning his
face away with a lordly, contemptuous gesture,, that
spoke him a true descendant of Pocahontas. This move-
ment exposed his left side to the doorway, outside of
which, hidden from us by the tree, stood the overseer.
"Come away, Moye," said the Colonel, advancing
with me toward the door ; " Til speak to him."
Before all of the words had escaped the Colonel's hps,
a streak of fire flashed from where^ the overseer stood,
and took the direction of the negro. One long, wild
shriek — one quick, convulsive bound in the air — and
Sam fell lifeless to tife floor, the dark life-stream pouring
from his side. The little child also fell with him, and
its greasy, grayish shirt was dyed with its father's blood.
Moye, at the distance of ten feet, had discharged the
two barrels of a heavily-loaded shot-gun directly through
the negro's heart.
"You incarnate son of h — ," yelled the Colonel, as he
sprang on the overseer, bore him to the ground, and
wrenched the shot-gun from his hand. Clubbing the
weapon, he raised it to brain him. The movement oc-
cupied but a second ; the gun was descending, and in
124 AMONG THE PINES^
another instant Moye would have met Sam in eternity,
had not a brawny arm caught the Colonel's, and, wind-
ing itself around his body, pinned his linibs to his side
so that motion was impossible. The woman, half frantic
with excitement, thrust open the door when her hus-
band fell, and the light which came through it revealed
the face of the new-comer. But his voice, which rang
out on the night air as clear as a bugle, had there been
no light, would have betrayed him. It was Scip. Spurn-
ing the prostrate overseer with his foot, he shouted :
"Run, you wite debblt run for your life!"
"Let me go, you black scoundrel," shrieked the Col-
onel, wild with rage.
"When he'm out ob reach, you'd kill him," replied
the negro, as cool as if he was doing an ordinary thing.
" I'll kill you, you black — hound, if you don't let me
go," again screamed the Colonel, struggling violently in
the negro's grasp, and literally foaming at the mouth.
" I shan't lef you gwo, Cunnel, 'till you 'gree not to
The Colonel was a stout, athletic man, in the very
prime of life, and his rage gave 'him more than his ordi-
nary strength, but Scip held him as I might have held a
" Here, Jim," shouted the Colonel to his body-servant,
who just then emerged from among the trees, " 'rouse
the plantation—shoot this d— nigger."
" Dar aint one on 'em wud touch him, massa. He'd
send me to de debble wid one fist."
ON THE PLANTATION.
" You ungrateful dog," groaned his master. " Mr.
K , will you stand by and see me handcuffed by a
miserable slave ?"
" The black means well, my friend ; he has saved you
from murder. Say he is safe, and I'll answer for \m
being away in an hour."
The Colonel made one more ineffectual attempt to free
himself from the vice-like grip of the negro, then relax-
ing his efforts, and, gathering his broken breath, he said,
"You're safe now, but if you're found within ten miles
of my plantation by sunrise, by — } ">u're a dead man."
The negro relinquished his hold, and, without saying
a word, walked slowly away.
" Jim, you — rascal," said the Colonel to that courage-
ous darky, wlio was skulking off, " raise every nigger
on the plantation, catch Moye, or I'll flog you within ;in
inch of your life."
" I'll do dat, Cunnel ; I'll kotch de ole debble, ef he's
dis side de hot place."
His words were echoed by about twenty other darkies,
who, attracted by the noise of the fracas, had gathered
within a safe distance of the cabin. They went off with
Jim, to raise the other plantation hands, and inaugurate
" If that — nigger hadn't held me, I'd had Moye in
— by this time," said the Colonel to me, still livid with
" The law will deal with him, my friend. The negro
has saved you from murder.'
126 AMONG THE PINES.
" The law be d — ; it's too good for such a — hound ;
and that the d — nigger should have dared to hold me — -
by — he'll rue it."
He then turned, exhausted with the recent struggle,
and, with a weak, uncertain step, entered the cabin.
Kneeling down by the dead body of the negro, he at-
tempted to raise it; but his strength was gone. He
motioned to me to aid him, and we placed the corpse on
thb bed. Tearing open the clothing, we wiped away
the still flowing blood, and saw the terrible wound which
had sent the negro to his account. It was sickening to
look on, and I turned to go.
The negro woman, who was weeping and wringing
her hands, now approached, and, in a voice nearly choked
with sobs, said :
" Massa, oh massa, I done it ! it's me dat killed him !"
" I know you did, you d . Get out of my sight."
a Oh, massa," sobbed the woman, falling on her knees,
" I'se so sorry ; oh, forgib me !"
" Go to — , you , that's the place for you," said
the Colonel, striking the kneeling woman with his foot,
and felling her to the floor.
Unwilling to see or hear more, I left the master with
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY."
THE PLANTER'S "FAMILY."
A quarter of a mile through the woods brought
me to the cabin of the old negress where Scip lodged.
I rapped at the door, and was admitted by the old wo-
man. Scip, nearly asleep, was lying on a pile of blan-
kets in the corner.
"Are you mad?" I said to him. "The Colonel is
frantic with rage, and swears he will kill you. You
must be off at once."
" No, no, massa ; neber fear ; I knows him. He'd
keep his word, ef he loss his life by it. I'm gwine afore
sunrise ; till den I'm safe."
" Der ye tint Massa Davy wud broke his word, sar ?"
said the old negress, bridling up her bent form, and speak-
ing in a tone in which indignation mingled with wound-
ed dignity; "p'raps gem men do dat at de Norf — dey
neber does it har."
- " Excuse me, Aunty; I know your master is a man of
honor ; but he's very much excited, and very angry with
"No matter for dat, sar; Massa Davy neber done a
mean ting sense he war born."
" Massa K tinks a heap ob de Cunnel, Aunty; but
AMONG THE PD^.
he reckon he'm sort o' crazy now ; dat make him
afeard," said Scip, in an apologetic tone.
"What ef he am crazy? You'se safe Jiar" rejoined
the old woman, dropping her aged limbs into a eh air,
and rocking away with much the air which ancient white
ladies occasionally assume.
" Wont you ax Massa K to a cheer ?" said Scip ;
"he hab ben bery kine to me."
The negress then offered me a seat ; but it was some *
minutes before I rendered myself sufficiently agreeable
to thaw out the icy dignity of her manner. Meanwhile
I glanced around the apartment.
Though the exterior of the cabin was like the others
on the plantation, the interior had a rude, grotesque ele-
gance about it far in advance of any negro hut I had
ever seen. The logs were chinked with clay, and the
one window, though destitute of glass, and ornamented
with the inevitable board-shutter, had a green moreen
curtain, which kept out the wind and the rain. A worn
but neat and well swept carpet partly covered the floor,
and on the low bed was spread a patch-work counter-
pane. Against the side of the room opposite the door
stood an antique, brass-handled bureau, and an old-fash-
ioned table, covered with a faded woollen cloth, occu-
pied the centre of the apartment. In the corner near
the fire was a curiously-contrived sideboard, made of
narrow strips of yellow pine, tongued and grooved to-
gether, and oiled so as to bring out the beautiful grain of
the wood. On it were several broken and cracked
THE PLANTER'S U FAMILY."
glasses, and an array of irregular crockery. The rock-
ing chair, in which the old negress passed the mcst of
her time, was of mahogany, wadded and covered with*
chintz, and the arm-seat I occupied, though old and
patched in many places, had evidently moved in good
The mistress of this second-hand furniture establish-
ment was arrayed in a mass of cast-off finery, whose
gay -colors were in striking contrast with her jet-black
skin and bent, decrepit form. Her gown, which was
very short, was o± flaming red and yellow worsted stuff,
and the enormous turban that graced her head and hid
all but a few tufts of her frizzled, " pepper-and-salt"
locks, was evidently a contribution from the family stock
of worn-out pillow-cases. She was very aged — upward
of seventy — and so thin that, had she not been endowed
with speech and motion, she might have passed for a bun-
dle of whalebone thrown into human shape, and covered
with a coating of gutta-percha. It was evident she had
been a valued house-servant, whose few remaining years
were being soothed and solaced by the kind and indul-
gent care of a grateful master.
Scip, I soon saw, was a favorite with the old negress,
and the marked respect he showed me quickly dispelled
the angry feeling my doubts of " Massa Davy" had ex-
cited, and opened her heart and her mouth at the same
moment. She was terribly garrulous; her tongue, as
soon as it got under way, ran on as if propelled by ma-
chinery and acquainted with the secret of perpetual mo-
AMONG THE PINES.
tion; but she was an interesting Vtudy. The single-
hearted attachment she showed for her master and his
family gave me a new insight into the practical working
of "the peculiar institution," and convinced me that
even slavery, in some of its aspects, is not so black as it
When we were seated, I said to Scip, " What induced
you to lay hands on the Colonel ? It is death, you
know, if he enforces the law."
" I knows dat, massa ; I knows dat ; but I had to do
it. Dat Moye am de ole debble, but de folks round hai
wud hab turned on de Cunnel, shore, ef he'd killed him,
Dey don't like de Cunnel; dey say he'm a stuck-up sesh-
" The Colonel, then, has befriended you at some
u No, no, sar ; 'twarn't dat ; dough I'se know'd him
a long w'ile — eber sense my ole massa fotched me from
Ilabana — but 'twarn't dat."
" Then why did you do it ?"
The black hesitated a moment, and glanced at the old
negress, then said :
"You see, massa, w'en I'fuss come to Charles'n, a
pore little ting, wid no friend in all de worle, dis ole
aunty war a mudder to me. She nussed de Cunnel ; he
am jess like her own chile, and I know'd 'twud kill her
ef he got hissef enter trubble."
I noticed certain convulsive twitchings about the cor-
ners of the old woman's mouth as she rose from her
THE PLANTER'S 66 FAMILY."
seat, threw her arms around Scip, and, in words broken
by sobs, faltered out :
" You am my chile ; I loves you better dan Massa
Davy — better dan all de worle."
The scene, had they not been black, would have been
one for a painter.
" You were the Colonel's nurse, Aunty," I said,
when she had regained her composure. "Have you
always lived with him ?"
" Yas, sar, allers ; I nussed him, and den de chil'ren — ■
all ob 'em."
" All the children ? I thought the Colonel had but
one — Miss Clara."
" Wal, he habn't, massa, only de boys."
" What boys ? I never heard he had sons."
" Neber heerd of young Massa Davy, nor Massa Tom-
my ! Haint you seed Massa Tommy,* sar ?"
" Tommy ! I was told he was Madam P 's
" So he am ; Massa Davy had her long afore he had
The truth flashed upon me ; but could it be possible ?
Was I in South Carolina or in Utah ?
" Who is Madam P ?" I asked.
The old woman hesitated a moment as if in doubt
whether she had not said too much ; but Scip quietly
'" She'm jess what amity am — de CwmeVs slave P
M His slave! it can't be possible; she is white!"
AMONG THE PINES.
" No, massa ; she am brack, andx^e Gunnel's slave !"
Not to weary the reader with a long repetition of
negro-English, I will tell in brief what I gleaned from an
hour's conversation with the two blacks.
Madam P — — was the daughter of Ex-Gov. }
of Virginia, by a quarteron woman. She was born a
slave, but was acknowledged as her father's child, and
reared in his family with his legitimate children. When
she was ten years old her father died, and his estate
proving insolvent, the land and negroes were brought
under the hammer. His daughter, never having been
manumitted, was inventoried and sold with the othei
property; The Colonel, then just of age, and a young
man of fortune, bought her and took her to the resi-
dence of his mother in Charleston. A governess was
provided for her, and a year or two afterward she was
taken to the Noivth to be educated. There she was fre-
quently visited by the Colonel ; and when fifteen her
condition became such that she was obliged to return
home. He conveyed her to the plantation, where her
elder son, David, was soon after born, "Aunt Lucy"
officiating on the occasion. When the child was two
years old, leaving it in charge of the aged negress, she
accompanied the Colonel to Europe, where they re-
mained for a year. Subsequently she passed anothei
year at a Northern seminary ; and then, returning to
the homestead, was duly installed as its mistress, and
had ever since presided over its domestic affairs. She
-^as kind and good to the negroes, who were greatly
THE PLANTER^ " FAMILY." 133
attached to her, and much of the Colonel's wealth was
due to her excellent management of the plantation.
Six years after the birth of " young Massa Davy,"
the Colonel married his present wife, that lady having
full knowledge of his left-handed connection with Mad-
am P , and consenting that the " bond-woman" should
remain on the plantation, as its mistress. The legitimate
wife resided, during most of the year, in Charleston,
and when at the homestead took little interest in domes-
tic matters. On one of her visits to the plantation,
twelve years before, her daughter, Miss Clara, was born,
and within a week, under the same roof, Madam P
presented' the Colonel with a son — the lad Thomas, of
whom I have spoken. As the mother was slave, the
children were so also at birth, but they had been
manumitted by their father. One of them was being'
educated in Germany ; and it was intended that both
should spend their lives in that country, the taint in
their blood being an insuperable bar to their ever ac-
quiring social position at the South.
As she finished the story, the old woman said, " Massa
Davy am bery kind to the missus, sar, but he love de
ma'am ; an' he can't help it, 'cause she'm jess so good
as de angels."*
* Instances are frequent where Southern gentlemen form these left-handed
connections, and rear two sets of differently colored children ; but it is not often
that the two families occupy the same domicil. The only other case within my
personal knowledge was that of the well-known President of the Bank of St.
M , at Columbus, Ga. That gentlemarr, whose note ranked in Wall Street,
when the writer was acquainted with that locality, as " A No. 1," lived for fifteen
years with two "wives" under one roof. One, an accomplished white woman,
134 AMONG THE PINES.
I looked at my watch — it was nearly ten o'clock, and
I rose to go. As I did so the old negress said :
" Don't yer gwo, massa, 'fore yon hab sum ob aunty's
wine ; you'm good friends wid Scip, and I knows you^se
not too proud to drink wid brack folks, ef you am from
Being curious to know what quality of wine a planta-
tion slave indulged in, I accepted the invitation. She
went to the side-board, and brought out a cut-glass de-
canter, and three cracked tumblers, which she placed on
the table. ' Filling the glasses to the brim, she passed
one to Scip, and one to me, and, with the other in her
hand, resumed her seat. Wishing her a good many
happy years, and Scip a pleasant journey home, I emp-
tied my glass. It was Scuppernong, and the pure juice
of the grape !
" Aunty," I said, "this wine is as fine as' I ever tasted."
" Oh, yas, massa, it am de raaj stuff. I growed de
" You grew them?"
" Yas, sar, an' Massa Davy make de wine. He do it
ebery yar for de ole nuss."
and the mother of several children — did the honors of his table, and moved with
him in "the best society; 11 the other — a beautiful quadroon, also the mother of
several children — filled the humbler office of nurse to her own and the others
In conversation with a well-known Southern gentleman, not long since, I men-
tioned these two cases, and commented on them as a man educated with New
England ideas might be supposed to do. The gentleman admitted that he knew
of twenty such instances, and gravely defended the practice as being infinitely
more moral and respectable than the more common relation existing between
masters and slaves.
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY." 135
" The Colonel is very good. Do you raise any thing
else ?!' ♦
" Yas, I hab cOllards and taters, a little corn, and
most ebery ting."
"But who does your work? Yoiu certainly can't
do it ?"
" Oh, de ma'am looks arter dat, sar ; she'm bery good
to de oie aunty."
Shaking hands with both the negroes, I left the cabin,
fully convinced that all the happiness in this world is
not found within plastered apartments.
The door of the mansion was bolted and barred ; but,
rapping for admission, I soon heard the Colonel's voice
asking, " Who is there ?" Giving a satisfactory an-
swer, I was admitted. Explaining that he supposed I
f had retired to my room, he led the way to the li-
That apartment was much more elegantly furnished
than the drawing-rooms. Three of its sides were lined
with books, and on the centre-table, papers, pamphlets,
and manuscripts were scattered in promiscuous confu-
sion. In an arm-chair near the fire, Madame P was
seated, reading. The Colonel's manner was as composed
as if nothing had disturbed the usual routine of the
plantation ; no trace of the recent terrible excitement
was visible ; in fact, had I not been a witness to the late
tragedy, I should have thought it incredible that he,
within two hours, had been an actor in a scene which
had cost a human being his life.
136 AMONG THE PINES.
" Where in creation have you^&een, my dear fellow?'
he asked, as we took our seats.
" At old Lucy's cabin, -with Scip,* 5 I replied.
" Indeed. I supposed the darky had gone."
" No, he doesn't go till the morning."
" I told you he wouldn't, David," said Madame P ;
" now, send for him — make friends with him before he
" No, Alice, it wont do. I bear him no ill-will, but it
wont do. It would be all over the - plantation in an hour."
" No matter for that ; our people would like you the
better for it."
" No, no. I can't do it. I mean him no harm, but I
can't do that."
"He told me why he interfered between you flbd
Moye," I remarked. ^
"Why did he ?"
" He says old Lucy, years ago, was a mother to hini ;
that she is greatly attached to you, and it would kill her
if any harm happened to you ; and that your neighbors
bear you no good- will, and would have enforced the law
had you killed Moye."
" It is true, David ; you would have had to answer
u Nonsense ! what influence could this North County
scum have against me ?"
" Perhaps none. But that mal^^io difference ; Scipio
did right, and you should tell him you forgive him."
The Colonel then rang a small bell, and a negro' wo-
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY."
man soon appeared. " Sue," he said, " go to Aunt
Lucy's, and ask Scip to come here. Bring him in at the
front door, and, mind, let no one know he comes."
The woman in a short time returned with Scip. There
was not a trace of fear or embarrassment in the negro's
manner as he entered the room. Making a respectful
bow, he bade us " good evening."
" Good evening, Scip," said the Colonel, rising and
giving the black his hand ; " let us be friends. Madam
tells me I should forgive you, and I do."
" Aunt Lucy say ma'am am an angel, sar, and it am
tru — it am tru, sar," replied the negro with considera-
The lady rose, also, and took Scip's hand, saying, " I
sfit only forg've you, but I thank you for what you have
done. I shf il never forget it."
" You'se too good, ma'am ; you'se too good to say
dat," replied the darky, the moisture coming to his eyes;
" but I meant nuffin' wrong — I meant nuffin' dis'specful
to de Cunnel."
"I know you didn't, Scip ; but we'll say no more about
it ; — good-by," said the Colonel.
Shaking hands with each one of us, the darky left the
One who does not know that the high-bred Southern
gentleman considers the black as far below him as the
horse he drives, dog he kicks, cannot realize the
amazing sacrifice of pride which the Colonel made in
seeking a reconciliation with Scip. It was the cutting
138 AMONG THE PINES.
off of his right hand. The circumstance showed the
powerful influence held over him by the octoroon wo-
man. Strange that she, his slave, cast out from society
by her blood and her life, despised, no doubt, by all the
world, save by him and a few ignorant blacks, should
thus control a proud, self-willed, passionate man, and
control him, too, only for good.
After the black had gone, I said to the Colonel, " I
was much interested in old Lucy. » A few more such in-
stances of cheerful and contented old age, might lead
me to think better of slavery."
" Such cases are not rare, sir. They show the pater-
nal character of our ' institution.' We are forced to
care for oiir servants in their old age."
" But have your other aged slaves the same comforts
that Aunt Lucy has ?"
" No ; they don't need them. She has been accus-
tomed to live in my house, and to fare better than the
plantation hands ; she therefore requires better treat-
" Is not the support of that class a heavy tax upon
"Yes, it is heavy. "We have, of course, to deduct it
from the labor of the able-bodied hands."
" What is the usual proportion of sick and infirm on
your plantation ?"
" Counting in the child-bearing women, I reckon about
twenty per cent."
"And what does it cost you to support each hand?"
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY."
" Well, it costs me, for children and all, about seven-
ty-five dollars a year. In some places it costs less. I
have to buy all my provisions."
" What proportion of your slaves are able-bodied
" Somewhere about sixty per cent. I have, all told,
old and young — men, women, and children — two hun-
dred and seventy. Out of that number I have now
equal to a hundred and fifty-four full hands. You un-
derstand that we classify them : some do only half tasks,
some three-quarters. I have more than a hundred and
fifty-four working-men and women, but they do only
that number of full tasks."
" What does the labor of a full hand yield ?"
" At the present price of turpentine, my calculation is
about two hundred dollars a year."
" Then your crop brings you about thirty-one thou-
sand dollars, and the support of your negroes costs you
" If that's the case, my friend, let me advise you to
sell your plantation, free your niggers, and go North."
"Why so, my dear fellow?" asked the Colonel laugh •
" Because you'd make money by the operation/'
" I never was good at arithmetic; go into the figures,"
he replied, still laughing, while Madam P , who had
laid aside her book, listened very attentively.
" Well, you have two hundred and seventy negroes,
whom you value, we'll say, with your mules, 'stills,'
and movable property, at two hundred thousand dollars ;
and twenty thousand acres of land, worth about three
dollars and a half *an acre ; all told, two hundred and
seventy thousand dollars. A hundred and fifty-four able-
bodied hands produce you a yearly profit of eleven thou-
sand dollars, which, saying nothing about the cost of
keeping your live stock, the wear and tear of your mules
and machinery, and the yearly loss of your slaves by
death, is only four per cent, on your capital. Now, with
only the price of your land, say seventy thousand dol-
lars, invested in safe stocks at the North, you could
realize eight per cent. — five thousand six hundred
dollars — and live at ease; and that, I judge, if you
have many runaways, or many die on your hands, is as
much as you really clear now. Besides, if you should
invest seventy thousand dollars in almost any legitimate
business at the North, and should add to it, as you now
do, your time and labor, you would realize far more than
you do at present from your entire capital."
" I never looked at the matter in that light. But I
have given you my profits as they now are ; some years
I make more ; six years ago I made twenty-five thousand
" Yes ; and six years hence you may make nothing."
" That's true. But it would cost me more to live at
" There you are mistaken. What do you pay for your
corn, your pork, and your hay, for instance ?"
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY."
" Well, my corn I have to bring round by vessel from
Washington (North Carolina), and it costs me high when
it gets here — about ten bits (a dollar and twenty-five
cents), I think."
"And in New York you could buy it now at sixty to
seventy cents. What does your hay cost ?"
"Thirty-five dollars. I pay twenty for it in New
York — the balance is freight and hauling."
" Your pork costs you two or three Hollars, I suppose,
for freight and hauling."
" Yes ; about that."
" Then in those items you might save nearly a hun-
dred per cent.; and they are the principal articles you
" Yes ; there's no denying that. But another tiling
is just' as certain : it costs less to support one of my
niggers than one of your laboring men."
"That maybe true. But it only shows that our
laborers fare better than your slaves."
" I am not sure of that. I am sure, however, that our
slaves are more contented than the run of laboring men
at the North."
" That proves nothing. Your blacks have no hope,
no chance to rise; and they submit — though I judge not
cheerfully — to an iron necessity. The Northern laborer,
if very poor, may be discontented ; but discontent urges
him to effort, and leads to the bettering of his condition.
I tell you, my friend, slavery is an expensive luxury.
AMONG mg PINES.
Tou Southern nabobs will have it; and you have to pay
"Well, we don't complain. But, seriously, my good
fellow, I feel that I am carrying out the design of the
Almighty in holding my niggers. I think he made the
black to serve the white."
"i" think," I replied, "that whatever He designs works
perfectly. Your institution certainly does not. It
keeps the producer, who, in every society, is the really
valuable citizen, in the lowest poverty, while it allows
those who do nothing to be 'clad in fine linen, and to
fare sumptuously every day.' "
"It does more than that, sir," said Madam P ,
with animation; " it brutalizes and degrades the master
and the slave; it separates husband and wife, parent and
child ; it sacrifices virtuous women to the lust of brutal
men ; and it shuts millions out from the knowledge of
their duty and their destiny. A good and just God
could not have designed it; and it must come to an
If lightning had struck in the room I could nothave
been more startled than I was by the abrupt utterance
of such language in a planter's house, in his very pres-
ence, and by his slave. The Colonel, however, expressed
no surprise and no disapprobation. It was evidently no
new thing to him.
"It is rare, madam," I said, "to hear such sentiments
from a Southern lady — one reared among slaves."
Before she could reply, the Colonel laughingly said :
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY."
"Bless you, Mr. K , madam is an out-and-out
abolitionist, worse by fifty per cent, than Garrison or
Wendell Phillips. If she were at the North she would
take to pantaloons, and 'stump' the entire free States;
wouldn't you, Alice ?"
"I have no doubt of it," rejoined the lady, smiling.
"But I fear I should have poor success. I've tried for
ten years to convert you^ and Mr. K can see the
It had grown late ; and with my head full of working
niggers and white slave- women, I went to my apartment.
The next day was Sunday. It was near the close of
December, yet the air was as mild and the sun as warm
as in our Northern October. It was arranged at the
breakfast-table that we all should attend service at "the
meeting-house," a church of the Methodist persuasion,
located some eight miles away ; but as it wanted some
hours of the time for religious exercises to commence, I
strolled out after breakfast, with the Colonel, to inspect
the stables of the plantation. " Massa Tommy" accom-
panied us, without invitation; and in the Colonel's in-
tercourse with him I observed as much freedom and
familiarity as he would have shown to an acknowledged
son. The youth's manners and conversation showed
that great attention had been given to his education and
training, and made it evident that the mother whose
influence was forming his character, whatever a false
system of society had made her life v possessed some of
the best traits of her sex.
AMONG THE, TINES.
The stables, a collection of one-story framed buildings,
about a hundred rods from the house, were well lighted
and ventilated, and contained all " the modern improve-
ments." They were better built, warmer, more com-
modious, and in every way more comfortable than the
shanties occupied by the human cattle of the plantation.
I remarked as much to the Colonel, adding that one
who did not know would infer that he valued his horses
more than his slaves.
" That may be true," he replied, laughing. " Two of
my horses are worth more than any eight of my slaves ;"
at the same time calling my attention to two magnifi-
cent thorough-breds, one of which had made " 2.32" on
the Charleston course. The establishment of a Southern
gentleman is not complete until it includes one or two
of these useless appendages. I had an argument with
my host as to their value compared with that of the
steam-engine, in which I forced him to admit that the
iron horse is the better of the two, because it performs
more work, eats less, has greater speed, and is not liable
to the spavin or the heaves ; but he wound up by say-
ing, "After all, I go for the thorough-breds. You Yan-
kees have but one test of value — use."
A ramble through the negro-quarters, which followed
our visit to the stables, gave me some further glimpses
of plantation life. Many of the hands were still away
in pursuit of Moye, but enough remained to. make it
evident that Sunday is the happiest day in the darky
calendar. Groups of all ages and colors were gathered
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY." 145 %
in front of several of the cabins, some singing, some
dancing, and others chatting quietly together, but all
enjoying themselves as heartily as so many young ani-
mals let loose in a pasture. They saluted the Colonel
and me respectfully, but each one had a free, good-
natured word for "Massa Tommy," who seemed an
especial favorite with them. The lad took their greet-
ings in good part, but preserved an easy, unconscious
dignity of manner that plainly showed he did not know
that he too was of their despised, degraded race.
The Colonel, in a rapid way, gave me the character
and peculiarities of nearly every one we met. The titles
of some of them amused me greatly. At every step we
encountered individuals whose names have become house-
hold words in every civilized country.* Julius Caesar,
slightly stouter than when he swam the Tiber, and some-
what tanned from long exposure to a Southern sun, was
seated on a wood-pile, quietly smoking a pipe ; while
near him, Washington, divested of regimentals, and
clad in a modest suit of reddish-gray, his thin locks
frosted by time, and his fleshless visage showing great
age, was gazing, in rapt admiration, at a group of
dancers in front of old Lucy's cabin.
Li this group about thirty men and women were
making the ground quake and the woods ring with their
unrestrained jollity. Marc Antony was rattling away
* Among the things of which slavery has deprived the black is a name. A
ilave has no family designation. It may be for that reason that a high-sounding
•pfMfllation ia usually selected for the single one ho is allowed to appropriate
AMONG THE PINES.
at the bones, Nero fiddling as if Rome were burning,
and Hannibal clawing at a banjo as if the fate of Car-
thage hung on its strings. Napoleon, as young and as
lean as when he mounted the bridge of Lodi, with the
battle-smoke still on his face, was moving his legs even
faster than in the Russian retreat ; and Wesley was using
his heels in a way that showed they didn't belong to the
Methodist chufth. But the central figures of the group
were Cato and Victoria. The lady had a face like a
thunder-cloud, and a form that, if whitewashed, would
have outsold the " Greek Slave." She was built on
springs, and " floated in the dance" like a feather in a
high wind. Cato's mouth was like an alligator's, but
when it opened, it issued notes that would draw the
specie even in this time of general suspension. As we
approached he was singing a song, but he paused on
perceiving us, when the Colonel, tossing a handful of
coin among them, called out, "Go on, boys ; let the gen-
tleman have some music ; and you, Vic, show your heels
like a beauty."
A general scramble followed, in which " Vic's" sense
of decorum forbade her to join, and she consequently
got - nothing. Seeing that, I tossed her a silver piece,
which she caught. Grinning her thanks, she shouted,
" Now, clar . de track, you nigs ; start de music. I'se
gwine to gib de gemman de breakdown."
And she did ; and such a breakdown ! " We w'ite
folks," though it was no new thing to the Colonel or
Tommy, almost burst with laughter.
the planter's " family."
In a few minutes nearly every negro on the plantation,
attracted by the presence of the Colonel and myself,
gathered around the performers ; and a shrill voice at
my elbow called out, "Look har, ye lazy, good-for-
nuffin' niggers, carn't ye fotch a cheer for Massa Davy
and de strange gemman ?"
" Is that you, Aimty ?" said the Colonel. " How d'ye
do ?" *
" Sort o' smart, Massa Davy ; sort o' smart ; how is
" Pretty well, Aunty ; pretty well. Have a seat."
And the Colonel helped her to one of the chairs that
were brought for us, with as much tenderness as he
would have shown to an aged white lady.
The "exercises," which had been suspended for a
moment, recommenced, and the old negress entered into
them as heartily as the youngest pres|nt. A song from
Cato followed the dance, and then jbout twenty "gen-
tleman and lady" darkies joined, two at a time, in a half
" walk-round" half breakdown, which the Colonel told
me was the original of the well-known dance and song
of Lucy Long. Other performances succeeded, and the
whole formed a scene impossible to describe. Such up-
roarious jollity, such full and perfect enjoyment, I had
never seen in humanity, black or white# The little nigs,
only four or five years old, would rush into the ring and
shuffle away at the breakdowns till I feared their short
legs would come off; while all the darkies joined in the
songs, till the branches of the old pines above shook aa
if they too had caught the spirit of the music. In the
midst of it, the Colonel said to me, in an exultant tone :
" W ell, my friend, what do you think of slavery -
"About- the same that I thought yesterday. I see
nothing to change my views."
"Why, are not these people happy ? Is not this per-
fect enjoyment ?"
" Yes ; just the same enjoyment that aunty's pigs are
having; don't you hear them singing to the music? I'll
wager they are the happier of the two."
" Xo ; you are wrong. The higher faculties of the
darkies are being brought out here."
" I don't know that," I replied. " Within the sound
of their voices, two of their fellows — victims to the in-
humanity of slavery — are lying dead, and yet they make
Sunday "hideous" with wild jollity, while Sam's fate
may be theirs to-mtrrow."
Spite of his genuine courtesy and high breeding, a
shade of displeasure passed over the Colonel's face as I
made this remark. Rising to go, he said, a little im-
patiently, "Ah, I see how it is; that d — Garrison's
sentiments have impregnated even you. How can the
North and the South hold together when moderate men
like you and me are so far apart ?"
"But you," I rejoined, good-humoredly, "are not a
moderate man. You and Garrison are of the same*
stripe, both extremists. You have mounted one hobby,
he another ; that is all the difference."
THE PLANTER'S " FAMILY."
" I should be sorry," he replied, recovering his good-
nature, " to think myself like Garrison. I consider him
the scoundrel unhung."
"No; I think he means well. But you are both
fanatics, both 'bricks' of the same material; we con-
servatives, like mortar, will hold you together and yet
keep you apart."
" I, for one, won't be held. If I can't get out of this
cursed Union in any other way, I'll emigrate to Cuba."
I laughed, and just then, looking up, caught a glimpse
of Jim, who stood, hat in hand, waiting to speak to the
Colonel, but not daring to interrupt a white conversation.
" Hallo, Jim," I said ; c have you got back ?"
" Yas, sar," replied Jim, grinning all over as if he had
some agreeable thing to communicate.
" Where is Moye ?" asked the Colonel.
"Kotched, massa ; I'se got de padlocks on him."
" Kotched," echoed half a dozen, darkies, who stood
near enough to hear;-"01e Isl^fe is kotched," ran
through the crowd, till the music ceased, and a shout
went up from two hundred black throats that made the
old trees tremble.
" Now gib him de lashes, -Massa Davy," cried the old
nurse. " Gib him what he gabe pore Sam ; but mine
dat you keeps widin de law."
"Never fear, Aunty," said the Colonel; 'Til give
him — ."
How the CoLnel kept his word will be told in another
AMONG THE PINES.
The " Ole Cabin" to which Jim had alluded as the
scene of Sam's punishment by the overseer, was a one-
story shanty in the vicinity of the stables. Though fast
falling to decay, it had more the appearance of a human
habitation than the other huts on the plantation. Its
thick plank door was ornamented with a mouldy brass
knocker, and its four windows contained sashes, to
which here and there clung a, broken pane, the surviving
relic of its better days. It was built of large unhewn
logs, notched at the ends and laid one upon the other,
with the bark still on. The thick, rough coat which yet
adhered in patches to the timber had opened in the sun,
and let the rain ancr4he worm burrow in its sides, till
some parts had crumbled entirely away. At one corner
the process of decay had gone on till roof, superstruc-
ture, and foundation had rotted down and left an open-
ing large enough to admit a coach and four horses. The
huge chimneys which had graced the gable ends of the
building were fallen in, leaving only a mass of sticks and
clay to tell of their existence, and two wide openings to
show how great a figure they had once made in the
world. A small space in front of the cabin would have
been a lawn, had the grass been willing to grow upon
it ; and a few acres of cleared land in its rear might have
passed for a garden, had it not been entirely overgrown
with young pines and stubble. This primitive structure
was once the " mansion" of that broad plantation, and,
before the production of turpentine came into fashion in
that region, its rude owner drew his support from . its
few surrounding acres, more truly independent than the
present aristocratic proprietor, who, raising only one
article, and buying all his provisions, was forced to draw
his support from the Yankee or the Englishman.
Only one room, about forty feet square, occupied the
interior of the cabin. It once contained several apart-
ments, vestiges of which still remained, but the parti-
tions had been torn away to fit it for its present uses.
What those uses were, a moment's observation showed
In the middle of the floor, a space about fifteen feet
square was covered with thick pine planking, strongly
nailed to the beams. In the centre r of this planking, an
oaken block was firmly bolted, and to it was fastened a
strong iron staple that held a log-chain, to which was
attached a pair of shackles. Above this, was a queer
frame-work of oak, somewhat resembling the contri-
vance for drying fruit I have seen in Yankee farm-
houses. Attached to the rafters by stout pieces of tim-
ber, were two hickory poles, placed horizontally, and
about four feet apart, the lower one rather more than
eight feet from the floor. This was the whipping-rack,
and hanging to it were several stout whips with' short
AMONG THE PINES.
hickory handles, and long triple lashes. I took one down
for closer inspection, and found li urned into the wood,
in large letters, the words " Moral Suasion.'' I ques-
tioned the appropriateness of the label, but the Colonel
insisted with great gravity, that the whip is the only
" moral suasion" a darky is capable of understanding.
When punishment is innicteti on one of the Colonel's
negroes, his^ feet are confined in the shackles, his arms
tied above his head, and drawn by a stout cord up to
one of the horizontal poles; then, his back bared to
the waist, and standing on tip-toe, with every muscle
stretched to its utmost tension, he takes "de lashes."
A more severe but more unusual punishment is the
" thumb-screw." In this a noose is passed around the
negro's thumb and fore-finger, while the cord is thrown
over the upper cross-pole, and the culprit is drawn up
till his toes barely touch the ground. In this position
the whole weight of the body rests on the thumb and
fore-finger. The torture is excruciating, and strong,
able-bodied men can endure it but a few moments. The
Colonel naively told me that he had discontinued its
practice, as several of his vjome?i had nearly lost the
use of their hands, and been incapacitated for field labor,
by its too frequent repetition. " My drivers,"* he
added, "have no discretion, and no humanity; if they
have a pique against a nigger, they show him no mercy."
The old shanty I have described was now the place of
the overseer's confinement. Open as it was at top, bofc-
* The negro-whippers and field overseers.
torn, and sides, it seemed an unsafe prison-house ; but
Jim had secured its present occupant by placing "de
padlocks on him."
" Where did you catch him ?" asked the Colonel, as,
followed by every darky on the plantation, we took our
way to the old building.
u In de swamp, massa. We got Sandy and de dogs
arter him — dey treed him, but he fit like de debble."
" Any one hurt ?"
" Yas, Cunnel ; heforifed Yaller Jake, and ef I hadn't
a gibin him a wiper, you'd a had anudder nigger short
dis mornin' — shore."
u How was it ? tell me," said his master, while we
paused, and the darkies gathered around.
" Wal, yer see, massa, we got de ole debble's hat dat .
he drapped wen you had him down ; den we went to
Sandy's fur de dogs — dey scented him to oust, and off
dey put for de swamp. 'Bout twenty on us follored
'em. He'd a right smart start on us, and run like a
deer, but de hounds kotohed up wid him 'bout whar he
shot pore Sam. . He fit 'em and cut up de Lady awful,
but ole Ca3sar got a hole ob him, and sliced a breakfuss
out ob his legs. Somehow, dough, he got 'way from
de ole dog, and clum a tree. 'Twar more'n an hour
afore we kotched up ; but dar he war, and de houns bay-
ing 'way as ef dey know'd what an ole debble he am.
I'd tuk one ob de guns — you warn't in de house, massa,
so I cudn't ax you."
u Never mind that ; go on," said the Colonel.
154 AMONG THE PINES.
" Wal, I up wid de gun, and tole him ef he didn't cum
down I'd gib him suffin' dat 'ud sot hard on de stummuk.
It tuk him a long w'ile, but — he cam down" Here the
darky showed a row of ivory that would have been a
fair capital for a metropolitan dentist.
" When he war down," he resumed, 44 Jake war gwine
to tie him, but de ole 'gator, quicker dan a flash, put a
knife enter him."
"Is Jake much hurt?" interrupted the Colonel.
"Not bad, massa; de knife went fru his arm, and
enter his ribs, but de ma'am hab fix him, and she say
he'll be 'round bery sudden."
"Well, what then?" inquired the Colonel.
44 Wen de ole debble seed he hadn't finished Jake, he
war gwine to gib him anudder dig, but jus den I drap de
gun on his cocoanut, and he neber trubble us no more.
'Twar mons'rous hard work to git him out ob de swamp,
'cause he war jess like a dead man, and had to be toted
de hull way; but he'm dar now, massa (pointing to the
old cabin), and de bracelets am on him."
44 Where is Jake ?" asked the Colonel.
"Dunno, massa, but reckon he'm to hum."
44 One of you boys go and bring him to the cabin, 5 '
paid the Colonel.
A negro man went off on the errand, while we and
the darkies resumed our way to the overseer's quarters.
Arrived there, I witnessed a scene that words cannot
Stretched at full length on the floor, his clothes torn
to shreds, his coarse carroty hair matted with blood, and
his thin, ugly visage pale as death, lay the overseer.
Bending over hirn, wiping away the blood from his face,
and swathing a ghastly wound on his forehead, was the
negress Sue ; Avhile at his shackled feet, binding up his
still bleeding legs, knelt the octoroon woman !
" Is she here ?" I said, involuntarily, as I caught sight
of the group.
"It's her nature," said the Colonel, with a pleasant
smile ; "if Moye were the devil himself, she'd do him
good if she could ; another such woman never lived."
And yet this woman, with all the instincts that make
her sex angel-ministers to man, lived in daily violation
of the most sacred of all laws — because she was a slave.
Can Mr. Caleb Cushing or Charles O'Conor tell us why
the Almighty invented a system which forces his crea-
tures to break laws of His own making ?
"Don't waste your time on him, Alice," said the
Colonel, kindly; "he isn't worth the rope that'll hang
" He was bleeding to death ; unless he has care he'll
die," said the octoroon woman.
" Then let him die, d him," replied the Colonel,
advancing to where the overseer lay, and bending down
to satisfy himself of his condition.
Meanwhile more than two hundred dusky forms
crowded around and filled every opening of the old
building. Every conceivable emotion, except pity, was
depicted on their dark faces. The same individuals
AMONG THE PINES.
whose cloudy visages a half hour before I had seen dis-
tended with a wild mirth and careless jollity, that made
me think them really the docile, good-natured animals
they are said to be, now glared on the prostrate overseer
with the infuriated rage of aroused beasts when spring-
ing on their prey.
"You can't come the possum here. Get up, you
hound," said the Colonel, rising and striking the bleed-
ing man with his foot.
The fellow raised himself on one elbow and gazed
around with a stupid, vacant look. His eye wandered
unsteadily for a moment from the Colonel to the throng
of cloudy faces in the doorway; then, his recent expe-
rience flashing upon him, he shrieked out, clinging wildly
to the skirts of the octoroon woman, who was standing
near, u Keep off them cursed hounds — keep them off, I
say— they'll kill me ! they'll kill me !"
One glance satisfied me that his mind was wandering.
The blow on the head had shattered his reason, and
made the strong man less than a child.
" You wont be killed yet," said the Colonel. "You've
a small account to settle with me before you reckon with
At this moment the dark crowd in the doorway parted,
and Jake entered, his arm bound up and in a sling.
" Jake, come here," said the Colonel; "this man would
have killed you. "What shall we do with him?"
"'Taint for a darky to say dat, massa," said the negro,
evidently unaccustomed to the rude administration of
PLANTATION DISCIPLINE. 157
justice which the Colonel was about to inaugurate; u ho
did wuss dan dat to Sam, massa — he orter swing for
"That's ray affair; we'll settle your account first," re-
plied the Colonel.
The darky looked undecidedly at his master, and then
at the overseer, who, overcome by weakness, had sunk
again to the floor. The little humanity in him was evi-
dently struggling with his hatred of Moye and his desire
for revenge, when the old nurse yelled out from among
the crowd, "Gib him fifty lashes, Massa Davy, and den
you wash him down.* Be a man, Jake, and say dat."
Jake still hesitated, and when at last he was about to
speak, the eye of the octoroon caught his, and chained
the words to his tongue, as if by magnetic power.
"Do you say that, boys;" said the Colonel, turning to
the other negroes; "shall he have fifty lashes?"
" Tas, massa, fifty lashes — gib de ole debble fifty
lashes," shouted about fifty voices.
"He shall have them," quietly said the master.
The mad shout that followed, which was more like
the yell of demons than the cry of men, seemed to
arouse Moye to a sense of his real position. Springing
to his feet, he gazed wildly around; then, sinking on his
knees before the octoroon, and clutching the folds of her
dress, he shrieked, " Save me, good lady, save me ! as
you hope for mercy, save me !"
* Referring to the common practice of bathing the raw and bleeding backs of
the punished slaves with a strong solution of salt and water.
158 AMONG THE FINES.
Not a muscle of her face moved, but, turning to the
excited crowd, she mildly said, " Fifty lashes would kill
him. . Jake does not say that — your master leaves it
to him, and he will not whip a dying man— w^ill you,
" No, ma'am— not— not ef you gwo agin it," replied
the negro, with very evident reluctance.
" But he whipped Sam, ma'am, when Sam war nearer
dead than he am," said Jim, whose station as house-
servant allowed him a certain freedom of speech.
" Because he was brutal to Sam, should you be brutal
to him ? Can you expect me to tend you when you
are sick, if you beat a dying man ? Does Pompey say
you should do such things ?"
"No, good ma'am," said* the old preacher, stepping
out, with the freedom of an old servant, from the black
mass, and taking his stand beside me in the open space
left for the " w'ite folks ;" " de oie man dusn't say dat,
ma'am ; he tell 'em dat de Lord want 'em to forgib dar
en'mies — to lub dem dat pursy skute 'em;" and, turning
to the Colonel, he added, as he passed his hand meekly
over his thin crop of white wool and threw his long
heel back, " ef massa'll 'low me I'll talk to 'em."
" Fire away," said the Colonel, with evident chagrin.
" This is a nigger trial ; if you want to screen the d
hound you can do it."
"I dusn't want to screed him, massa, but I'se bery
ole and got soon to gwo, and I dusn't want de blessed
Lord to ax me wen I gets dar why I 'lowed dese pore
ig'nant brack folks to mudder a man 'fore my bery face.
I toted yon, massa, 'fore yon end gwo, I'se worked for
you till I can't work no more ; and I dnsn't want to tell
de Lord dat my massa let a brndder man be killed in
" He is no brother of mine, yon old fool ; preach to
the nigs, don't preach to me," said the Colonel, stifling
his displeasure, and striding off through the black crowd,
without saying another word.
Here and there in the dark mass a face showed signs
of relenting ; but much the larger number of that strange
jury, had the question been put, would have voted —
The old preacher turned to them as the Colonel passed
out, and said, "My chfl'ren, would you hab dis man
whipped, so weak, so dyin' as he am, ef he war brack?"
" No, not ef he war a darky — fer den he wouldn't be
such an ole debble," replied Jim, and about a dozen of
the other negroes.
" De w'ite aint no wuss dan de brack — we'm all 'like
—pore sinners all on us. De Lord wudn't whip a
w'ite man no sooner dan a brack one — He tinks de w'ite
juss so good as de brack (good Southern doctrine, I
thought). De porest w'ite trash wudn't strike a man
wen he war down."
" We'se had 'nough of dis, ole man," said a large,
powerful negro (one of the drivers), stepping forward,
and, regardless of tl^ presence of Madam P and
myself, pressing close ta where the overseer lay, now
AMONG THE PIHES.
totally unconscious of what was passing around him.
" You needn't preach no more ; de Gunnel hab say
we'm to whip ole Moye, and we'se gwine to do it,
I felt my fingers closing on the palm of my hand, and
in a second more they might have cut the darky's pro-
file, had not Madam F- cried out, " Stand back, you
impudent' fellow : say another word, and I'll have you
whipped on the spot."
" De Gunnel am my massa, ma'am — he say ole Moye
am to be whipped, and I'se gwine to do it — shore."
I have seen a storm at sea — I have seen the tempest
tear up great trees — I have seen the lightning strike in
a dark night — but I never saw any thing half so grand,
half so terrible, as the glance and tone of that woman as
she cried out, " Jim, take this man — give him fifty lashes
Quicker than thought, a dozen darkies were on him.
His hands and feet were tied and he was under the
whipping-rack in a second. Turning then to the other
negroes, the brave woman said, "Some of you carry
Moye to the house, and you, Jim, see to this man —
if fifty lashes don't make him sorry, give him fifty
This summary change of programme was silently ac-
quiesced in by the assembled negroes, but many a cloudy
face scowled* sulkily on the octoroon, as, leaning on my
arm, she followed Junius and t]^ other negroes, who
bore Mcye to the mansion.. It was plain that under
those dark faces a fire was burning that a breath would
have fanned into a flame.
We entered the house by its rear door, and placed
Moye in a small room on the ground floor. He was
laid on a bed, and stimulants being given him, his
senses and reason shortly returned. His eyes opened,
and his real position seemed suddenly to flash upon
him, for he turned to Madam P , and in a weak
voice, half choked with emotion, faltered out: "May
God in heaven bless ye, ma'am ; God will bless ye for
bein' so good to a wicked man like me. I doesn't de-w
sarve it, but ye woant leave me — ye woant leave me —
they'll kill me ef ye do !"
" Don't fear," said the Madam ; " you shall have a
fair trial. No harm shall come to you here."
" Thank ye, thank ye," gasped the overseer, raising
himself on one arm, and clutching at the lady's hand,
which he tried to lift to his lips.
" Don't say any more now," said Madam P ,
quietly ; " you must rest and be quiet, or you wont get
"Shan't I get well? Oh, I can't die— I can't die
The lady made a soothing reply, and giving him an
opiate, and arranging the bedding so that he might rest
more easily, she left the room with me.
As we stepped into the hall, I saw through the front
door, which was open, the horses harnessed in readiness
for " meeting," and the Colonel pacing to and fro on
AMONG THE PINES.
the piazza, smoking a cigar. He perceived us, and
halted in the doorway.
" So you've brought that d bloodthirsty villain
into my house !" he said to Madam P in a tone of
" How could I help it ? The negroes are mad, and
would kill him anywhere else," replied the lady, with a
certain self-confidence that showed she knew her power
over the Colonel.
" Why should you interfere between them and him ?
Has he not insulted you enough to make you let him
alone? Can you so easily forgive his taunting you
with" — He did not finish the sentence, but what I
had learned on the previous evening from the old nurse
gave me a clue to its meaning. A red flame flushed the
face and neck of the octoroon woman — her eyes literally
flashed fire, and her very breath seemed to come with
pain ; in a moment, however, this emotion passed away,
t and she quietly said, " Let me settle that in my own
way. He has served you well — you have nothing
against him that the law will not punish."
" By , you are the most unaccountable woman I
ever knew," exclaimed the Colonel, striding up and
down the piazza, the angry feeling passing from his
face, and giving way to a mingled expression of wonder
and admiration. The conversation was here interrupted
by Jim, who just then made his appearance, hat in
" Well, Jim. what is it ?" asked his master.
" We'se gib'n Sam twenty lashes, ma'am, but he beg
so hard, and say he so sorry, dat I tole him I'd ax you
'fore we gabe him any "more."
" Well, if he's sorry, that's enough ; but tell him he'll
get fifty another time," said the lady.
" What Sam is it ?" asked the Colonel.
" Big Sam, the driver," said Jim.
" Why was he whipped ?"
" He told me you were his master, and insisted on
whipping Moye," replied the lady.
" Did he dare to do that ? Give him a hundred, Jim,
not one less," roared the Colonel.
" Yas, massa," said Jim, turning to go.
The lady looked significantly at the negro and shook
her head, but said nothing, and he left.
" Come, Alice, it is nearly time for meeting, and I
want to stop and see Sandy on the way."
" I reckon I wont go," said Madam P .
" You stay to take care of Moye, I suppose," said the
Colonel, with a slight sneer.
" Yes," replied the lady, "he is badly hurt, and in
danger of inflammation."
" Well, suit yourself. Mr. K , , come, we'll go —
you'll meet some of the natives"
The lady retired to the house, and the Colonel and I
were soon ready. The driver brought the horses to the
door, and as we were about to enter the carriage, I
noticed Jim taking his accustomed seat on the box.
" Who's looking after Sam ?" asked the Colonel.
A3I0NG THE PINE3.
" Nobody, Cunnel ; de ma'am leff him gwo."
M How dare you disobey me ? Didn't. I tell you to
give him a hundred ?'' *
" Yas, massa, but de ma'am tole me notter."
" Well, another time you mind what I say — do you
hear ?" said his master.
" Yas, massa," said the negro, with a broad grin, " I
allers do dat."
"You never do it, you d — : — nigger; L ought to
have flogged you long ago."
Jim said nothing, but gave a quiet laugh, showing no
sort of fear, and we entered the carriage. I afterward
learned from him that he had never been whipped, and
that all the negroes on the plantation obeyed the lady
when, which was seldom, her orders came in conflict
with their master's. They knew if they did not, the
Colonel would whip them.
As we rode slowly along the Colonel said to me,
" Well, you see that the best people have to flog niggers
"/Yes, I should have given that fellow a hundred
lashes, at least. I think the effect on the others would
have been bad if Madam P had not had him flog-
" But she generally goes against it. I don't remem-
ber of her having it done in ten years before. And yet,
though I've the worst gang of niggers in the district,
they obey her like* so many children."
" Why is that ?"
" Well, there's a kind of magnetism about her that
makes everybody love her ; and then she tends them in
sickness, and is constantly doing little things for their
comfort ; that attaches them to her. She is an extraor-
"Whose negroes are those, Colonelf" I asked, as,
after a while, we passed a gang of about a dozen, at
work near the roadside. Some were tending a tar-kiln,
and some engaged in cutting into fire- wood the pines
which a recent tornado had thrown to the ground.
" They are mine, but, they are working now for them-
selves. I let such as will, work on Sunday. I furnish
the " raw material," and pay them for what they do, as
I would a white man."
" Wouldn't it be better to make them go to hear
the old preacher ; couldn't they learn something from
" Not much ; Old Pomp never read any thing but
the Bible, and he doesn't understand that ; besides, they
can't be taught. You can't make c a whistle out of a
pig's tail ;' you can't make a nigger into a white man."
Just here the carriage stopped suddenly, and we
looked out to see the cause. The road by which we
had come was a mere opening through the pines ; no
fences separated it from the wooded land, and being
seldom travelled, the track was scarcely visible. In
many places it widened to a hundred feet, but in others
tall trees had grown up on its opposite sides, leaving
scarcely width enough for a single carriage to pass.
AMONG THE PINES.
along. In one of these narrow passages, just before us,
a queer-looking vehicle had upset, and scattered its con-
tents in the road. We had no alternative but to wait
till it got out of the way ; and we all "alighted to recon-
The vehicle was a little larger than an ordinary hand-
cart, and was mounted on wheels that had probably
served their time on a Boston dray before commencing
their travels in Secessiondom. Its box of pine board-
ing and its shafts of rough oak poles were evidently of
Southern borne manufacture. Attached to it by a rope
harness, with- a primitive bridle of decidedly original
construction, was — not a horse, nor a mule, nor even
an alligator, but a " three-year-old heifer."
The wooden linch-pin of the cart had given way, and
the weight of a half-dozen barrels of turpentine had
thrown the box off its balance, and rolled the contents
about in all directions.
The appearance of the proprietor of this nondescript
vehicle was in keeping with his establishment. His
coat, which was much too short in the waist and much
too long in the skirts; was of the common reddish gray
linsey, and his nether garments, which stopped just be-
low the knees, were of the same material. From there
downwards, he wore only the covering that is said to
have been the fashion in Paradise before Adam took to
fig-leaves. His hat had a rim broader than a political
platform, and his skin a color half way between tobacco-
juice and a tallow candle.
" Wal, Cunnul, how dy'ge ?" said the stranger, as we
stepped from the carriage.
" Very well, Xed ; how are you ?"
"Purty wal, Cunnul; had the nagur lately, right
smart, but'm gittin' 'roun'."
" You're in a bad fix here, I see. Can Jim help you ?"
" Wal, p'raps he moight. Jim, how dy'ge ?"
"Sort smart, ole feller. But come, stir yersefT;
we want ter gwo 'long," replied Jim, with a lack
of courtesy that showed he regarded the white man
as altogether too "trashy" to be treated with much
"With the aid of Jim, a new linch-pin was soon whit-
tled out, the turpentine rolled on to the cart, and the
vehicle put in a moving condition.
" Where are you hauling your turpentine ?" asked
" To Sam Bell's, at the 'Boro'." ■
" What will he pay you ?"
" Wal, I've four barr'ls of ' dip,' and tu of 4 hard.'
For the hull, I reckon he'll give three dollar a barr'l."
" By tale ?"
" Xo, for tu hun'red and eighty pound."
" Well, TU give you two dollars and a half, by
" Can't take it, Cunnel ; must get three dollar."
" What, will you go sixty miles with this team, and
waste five or six days, for fifty cents on six barrels —
three dollars !"
AMONG THE PIJNTES.
" Can't 'ford the time, Cunnel, but must git three dol*
lar a barr'l."
"That fellow is a specimen of our 'natives,'" said
the Colonel, as we resumed our seats in the carriage.
" You'll see more of them before we get back to the
" He puts a young cow to a decidedly original use,"
" Oh no, not original here ; the ox and the cow with
us are both used for labor."
"You don't mean to say that cows are generally
worked here ?"
" Of course I do. Our breeds are good for nothing
as milkers, and we put them to the next best use. I
never have cow's milk on my plantation."
" You don't ! I could have sworn it was in my coffee
" 1 wouldn't trust you to buy brandy for me, if your
organs of taste are not keener than that. It was goat's
" Then how do you get your butter ?"
"From the North. I've had mine from my New
York factors for over ten years."
We soon arrived at Sandy, the negro-hunter's, and
halted to allow the Colonel to inquire as to the health
of his family of children and dogs — the latter the less
numerous, but, if I might judge by appearances, the
more valued of the two.
THE NEGKO HUNTER.
THE NEGRO HUNTEE.
Alighting from the carnage, I entered, with my
host, the cabin of the negro-hunter. So far as external
appearance went, the shanty was a slight improvement
on the " Mills House," described in a previous chapter ;
but internally, it was hard to say whether it resembled
more a pig-sty or a dog-kennel. The floor was of the
bare earth, covered in patches with loose plank of vari-
ous descriptions, and littered over with billets of "light-
wood," unwashed cooking utensils, two or three cheap
stools, a pine settee — made from the rough log and hewn
smooth on the upper side — a full-grown bloodhound,
two younger canines, and nine half-clad juveniles of the-
flax-head species. Over against the fire-place three low
beds afforded sleeping accommodation to nearly a dozen
human beings (of assorted sizes, and dove-tailed together
with heads and feet alternating), and in the opposite cor-
ner a lower couch, whose finer furnishings told plainly
it was the peculiar property of the "wee ones" of the
family — a mother's tenderness for her youngest thus
cropping out even in the midst of filth and degrada-
tion — furnished quarters for an unwashed, uncombed,
unclothed, saffron-hued little fellow about fifteen months
old, and— the dog "Lady." She was of a dark hazel
color — a cross between a pointer and a bloodhound — and
one of the most beautiful creatures I ever saw. Her
neck and breast were bound about with a coarse cotton
cloth, saturated with blood, and emitting a strong odor
of bad whiskey; and her whole appearance showed
the desperate nature of the encounter with the over-
The nine young democrats who were lolling about the
room in various attitudes, rose as we entered, and with
a familiar but rather deferential " Ho w-dy'ge," to the
Colonel, huddled around and stared at me with open
mouths and distended eyes, as if I w^ere some strange be-
ing, dropped from another sphere. The two eldest were
of the male gender, as was shown by their clothes — cast-
off suits of the inevitable reddish-gray, much too large,
and out at the elbows and the knees — but the sex of the
others I was at a loss to determine, for they wore only
a single robe, reaching, like their mother's, from the neck
to the knees. Not one of the occupants of the cabin
boasted a pair of stockings, but the father and mother
did enjoy the luxury of shoes — coarse, stout * brogans,
untanned, and of the color of the legs which they en-
u Well, Sandy, how is 'Lady?'" asked the Colonel, as
he stepped to the bed of the wounded dog.
" Reckon she's a goner, Cunnel ; t*he d Yankee
orter swing fur it."
- This intimation that the overseer was a country-
man of mine, took me by surprise, nothing I bad ob*
THE NEGRO HUNTER.
served in h\s speech or manners having indicated it, but
I consoled myself with the reflection that Connecticut
had reared him— as she makes wooden hams and nut-
megs — expressly for the Southern market.
" He shall swing for it, by . But are you sure
the skit will die ?"
"Not shore, Cunnel, but she can't stand, and the
blood will run. I reckon a hun'red and fifty ar done for
" D the money — I'll make that right. . Go to the
house and get some ointment from Madam — she can save
her — go at once," said my host.
"I will, Cunnel," replied the dirt-eater, taking his
broad-brim from a wooden peg, and leisurely leaving the
cabin. Making our way then over the piles of rubbish
and crowds of children that cumbered the apartment,
the Colonel and I returned to the carriage.
" Dogs must be rare in this region," I remarked, as
we resumed our seats.
"Yes, well-trained bloodhounds are scarce every-
where. That dog is well worth a hundred and fifty
" The business of nigger-catching, then, is brisk, just
"No, not more brisk than usual. We always have
more or less runaways."
" Do mcrst of them take to the swamps ?"
" Yes, nine out of ten do, though now and then one
gets off on a trading vessel. It is almost impossible for
172 amoi&3l_the pines.
a strange nigger to make his way by land from here to
the free states. 1 '
• " Then why do you Carolinians make such an outcry
about the violation of the Fugitive Slave Law ?"
"For the same reason that dogs quarrel over a naked
bone. We should be unhappy if we couldn't growl at
the Yankees," replied the Colonel, laughing.
"TFe, you say; you mean by that, the hundred and
eighty thousand nabobs who own five-sixths of y?ur
" Yes, I mean them, and the three millions of poor
whites — the ignorant, half-starved, lazy vermin you have
just seen. They are the real basis of our Southern oli-
* The foregoing statistics are correct. That small number of slave-holders sus-
tains the system of slavery, and has caused this terrible rebellion. They are,
almost to a man, rebels and secessionists,, and we may cover the South with
armies, and keep a hie of soldiers upon every plantation, and not smother this
insurrection, unless we break down the power of that class. Their wealth gives
them their power, and their wealth is in their slaves. Free their negroes by an
act of emancipation, or confiscation, and the rebellion will crumble to pieces in a
day. Omit to do it, and it will last till doomsday. 1
The power of this dominant class once broken, with landed property at the
" South more -equally divided, a new order of things will arise there. Where now,
with their large plantations, not one acre in ten is tilled, a system of small farms
will spring into existence, and the whole country be covered with cultivation.
The six hundred thousand men who have gone there to fight our battles, will see
the amazing fertility of the Southern soil — into which the seed is thrown and
springs up without labor into a bountiful harvest — and many of them, if slavery
is crushed out, will remain there. Thus a new element will be introduced into
the South, an 'element that will speedily make it a loyal, prosperous, and intelli-
gent section of the Union.
I wou.d interfere with no one's rights, but a rebel in arms against his country
has no rights ; all that he has " is confiscate." Will the loyal people of the North
submit to be ground to the earth with taxes to pay the expenditures of a war,
"brought upon them by these Southern oligarchists, while the traitors are left in
undisturbed possession of every thing, and even their slaves are exempted from
taxation? It were well that our legislators should ask this question now. and
uot wait till it is a^ked of them by tuu rnoi'LU
THE STEGEO HUNTER.
garchy, as you call it," continued my host, still laugh-
" I thought the negroes were the serfs in your feudal
" Both the negroes and the' poor whites are the serfs,
but the white trash are its real support. Their votes
give the small minority of slave-owners all their power.
You say we control the Union. We do, and we do it
by the votes of these people, who are as far below our
niggers as the niggers are below decent white men.
Who that reflects that this - country has been governed
for fifty years by such scum, would give a d — : — for re-
publican institutions ?"
" It does speak badly for your institutions. A system
that reduces nearly half of a white population to the
level of slaves cannot stand in this country. The late
election shows that the power of your 'white trash' is
> c Well, it does, that's a fact. If the states should re-
main together, the West would in - future control the
Union. We see that, and are therefore determined on
dissolution. It is our only way to keep our niggers."
"The West will have to consent to that project. My
opinion is, your present policy will, if carried out, free
every one of your slaves."
"I ddnt see how. Even if we are put down— which
we cannot be — and are held in the Union against our
will, government cannot, by the constitution, interfere
with slavery in the states." • '
" I admit that, but it can confiscate the property of
traitors. Every large slave-holder is to-day, at heart, a
traitor. If this movement goes on, you will commit
overt acts against the government, and in self-defence it
will punish treason by taking from you the means of
" The Republicans and Abolitionists might do that if
they had the power,, but nearly one-half of the North is
on our side, and will not fight us."
" Perhaps so ; but if I had this thing to manage, I
would put you down without fighting."
" How would you do it — by preaching abolition where
even the niggers would mob you ? There's not a slave
in all South Carolina but would shoot Garrison or Gree-
ley on sight."
" That may be, but if so, it is because you keep them
in ignorance. Build a free-school at every cross-road,
and teach the poor whites, and what would become of
slavery ? If these people were on a par with the farmers
of New England, would it -last for an hour? Would
they not see that it stands in the way of their advance-
ment, and vote it out of existence as a nuisance ?"
"Yes, perhaps they would; but the school-houses are
not at the cross-roads, and, thank God, they will not be
there in this generation."
"The greater the pity ; but that which will not flourish
alongside of a school-house, cannot, in the nature of
things, outlast this century. Its time must soon come."
" Enough for the day is the evil thereof. I'll risk the
THE NEGRO HUNTER.
future of slavery, if the South, in a body, goes out of the
" In other words, you'll shut out schools and knowl-
edge, in order to keep slavery in existence. The Abo-
litionists claim it to be a relic of barbarism, and you ad-
mit it could not exist with general education among tho
" Of course it could not. If Sandy, for instance, knew
he were as good a man as I am — and he would be if he
were educated — do you suppose he would vote as I tell
him, go and come at my bidding, and live on my charity ?
No, sir ! give a man knowledge, and, however poor he
may be, he'll act for himself."
" Then free-schools and general education would de-
" Of course they would. The few cannot rule when
the many know their rights. If the poor whites realized -
that slavery kept them poor, would they not vote it
down ? But the South and the world are a long way
off from general education. When it comes to that, we
shall need no laws, and no slavery, for the millennium
will have arrived."
" I'm glad you think slavery will not exist during the
millennium," I replied, good-humoredly ; " but how is it
that you insist the negro is naturally inferior to the
white, and still admit that the 'white trash,' are far be-
low the black slaves ?"
"Education makes the difference. We educate the
negro enough to make him useful to us ; but the poor
white man knows nothing:. He can neither read noi
write, and not only that, he is not trained to any useful
employment. Sandy, here, who is a fair specimen of th<?
tribe, obtains his living just like an Indian, by hunting,
fishing, and stealing, interspersed with nigger-catching
His whole wealth consists of two hounds and pups ; hia
house — even the wooden trough his miserable children
eat from — belongs to me. If he didn't catch a runaway-
nigger once in a while, he wouldn't see a dime from one
year to another."
"Then you have to support this man and his family?"
" Yes, what I don't give him he steals. Half $ dozen .
others poach on me in the same way."
" Why don't you set them at work ?"
" They can't be made to work. I have hired them
time and again, hoping to make something of them,
but I never got one to work more than half a day at a
time. It's their nature to lounge and to steal."
" Then why do you keep them about you ?"
" Well, to be candid, their presence is of use in keep-
ing the blacks in subordination, and they are worth all
they cost me, because I control their votes."
" I thought the blacks were said to be entirely con-
" No, not contented. I do not claim that. I only say
that they are unfit for freedom. I might cite a hundred
instances in which it has been their ruin."
" I have not heard of one. It seems strange to me that
a man who can support another cannot support himself."
THE NEGRO HUNTER.
" Oh ! no, it's not at all strange. The slave has hands,
and when the master gives him brains, he works well
enough ; but to support himself he needs both hands
and brains, and he has only hands. I'll give you a case
in point : At Wilmington, N. C, some years ago, there
lived a negro by the name of Jack Campbell. He was
a slave, and was employed, before the river was deepen-
ed so as to admit of the passage of large vessels up to
the town, in lightering cargoes to the wharves. He
hired his time of his master, and carried on business on
his own account. Every one knew him, and his charac-
ter for honesty, sobriety, and punctuality stood so high
that his word was considered among merchants as good
as that of the first business-men of the place. Well,
•Tack's wife and children were free, aud he finally took
it into his head to be free himself. He' arranged with
his master to purchase himself within a specified time,, at
eight hundred dollars, and he was to deposit his earn-
ings in the hands of a certain merchant till they reached
the required sum. He went on, and in three years had
accumulated nearly seven hundred dollars, when his
owner failed in business. As the slave has no right of
property, Jack's earnings belonged by law to his master,
and they were attached by the Northern creditors (mark
that, by Northern creditors), and taken to pay the mas-
ter's debts. Jack, too, was sold. His new owner also
consented to his buying himself, at about the price pre-
viously agreed on. Nothing discouraged, he went to
' work again. Night and day he toiled, and it surprised
-AMONG THE PINES.
every one to see so much energy and firmness of purpose
iu a negro. At last, after four more years of labor, ho
accomplished his purpose, and received his free-papers.
He had worked seven years — as long as J acob toiled for '
Rachel — for his freedom, and like the old patriarch he
found himself cheated at last. I was present when he
received his. papers from his owner — a Mr. William II.
Lippitt, who still resides at Wilmington — and I shall
never forget the ecstasy of joy which he showed on the
occasion. He sung and danced, and laughed, and wept,
till my conscience smote me for holding my own niggers,
when freedom might give them so much happiness.
Well, he went off that day and treated some friends, acid
for three days afterward lay in the gutter, the entreaties
of his wife and children having no effect on him. He
swore he was Jree, and would do as he c d pleased.'
Ha had previously been a class-leader in the church, but
after getting his freedom he forsook his previous asso-
ciates, and spent his Sundays and evenings in a bar-room.
He neglected his business ; people lost confidence in him,
and step by step he went down, till in five years he sunk
into a wretched grave. That was the effect of freedom
on him, and it w^ould be the same on all of his race."
"It is clear," I replied, "he could not bear freedom,
but that does not prove he might not have 'endured' it.
if he had never been a slave. His overjoy at obtaining
liberty, after so long a struggle for it, led to his excesses
and his ruin. According to your view, neither the black
nor the poor white is competent to take care of himself.
THE NEGRO HUNTER.
The Almighty, therefore, has laid upon you a triple bur-
den ; you not only have to provide for yourself and your
children, but for two races beneath you, the black and
the clay-eater. The poor nigger has a hard time, but it
seems to me you have a harder one."
"Well, it's a fact, Ave do. I often think that if it wasn't
for the color and the odor, I'd willingly exchange places
with my man Jim."
The Colonel made this last remark in a half-serious,
half-comic way, that excited my risibilities, but before
I could reply, the carriage stopped, and Jim, opening the
door, announced :
" We's har, massa, and de prayin' am gwine on."
AMONG THE PINES.
THE COUNTRY CHURCH.
Had we not been absorbed in conversation, we might
have discovered, some time previous to our arrival at the
church door, that the services had commenced, for tho
preacher w^as shouting at the top of his lungs. He evi-
dently thought the Lord either a long way off, or very
hard of hearing. Not wishing to disturb the congrega-
tion while at their devotions, we loitered near the door-
way until the prayer was over, and in the mean time I
glanced around the vicinity.
The "meeting-house," of large unhewn logs, was a
story and a half in height, and about large enough to
seat comfortably a congregation of two hundred persons.
It was covered with shingles, with a roof projecting
some four feet over the walls, and was surmounted at
the front gable by a tower, about twelve feet square.
This also was built of logs, and contained a bell "to call
the ertjng to the house of prayer," though, unfortunately,
all of that character thereabouts dwelt beyond the sound
of its voice. The building was located at a cross-roads,
about equally distant from two little hamlets (the near-
er nine miles off), neither of which was populous enough
to singly support a church and a preacher. The trees in
THE COUNTRY CHURCH.
the vicinity had been thinned out, so that carriages could
drive into the woods, and find under the branches shelter
from the rain and the sun ; and at the time of my visit,
about twenty vehicles of all sorts and descriptions, from
the Colonel's magnificent barouche to the rude cart
drawn by a single two-horned qrtadruped, filled the
openings. There was a rustic simplicity about the
whole scene that charmed me. The low, rude church,
the grand old pines that towered in leafy magnificence
around it, and the soft, low wind, that sung a morning
hymn in the green, wavy woods, seemed to lift , the soul
up to Him who inhabit eth eternity, but who deigns to.
visit the erring children of men.
The preacher was about to "line out" one of Watts'
psalms when we entered the church, but he stopped
short on perceiving us, and, bowing low, waited till we
had taken our seats. This action, and the sycophantic
air which accompanied it, disgusted me, and turning to
the Colonel, I asked, jocosely:
"Do the chivalry exact so much obsequiousness from
the country clergy ? Do you require to be bowed up to
In a low voice, but high enough, I thought, for the
preacher to hear, for we sat very near, the Colonel re-
"He's a renegade Yankee — the meanest thing on
I said no more, but entered into the services as seri-
ously as the strange gymnastic performances of the
AMO>s T a THE PLNES.
preacher would allow of my doing ; for lie was quite as
amusing as a circus clown.
With the exception of the Colonel's, and a few other
pews in the vicinity of the pulpit, all of the seats were
mere rough benches, without backs, and placed so
closely together as to interfere uncomfortably with the
knees of the sitters. The house was full, and the con-
gregation as attentive as any I ever saw. All classes
were there ; the black serving-man away off by the door
way, the poor white a little higher un, the small turpen-
tine-farmer a little higher still, and the wealthy planter,
of the class to which the Colonel belonged, on "the
highest seats of the synagogue," and in close proximity
to the preacher.
The " man of prayer" was a tall, lean, raw-boned, an-
gular-built individual, with a - thin, sharp, hatchet-face, a
small sunken eye, and long, loose hair, brushed back and
falling over the collar of a seedy black coat. He looked
like a dilapidated scare-crow, and his pale, sallow face,
and cracked, wmeezy voice, were in odd and comic
keeping with his discourse. His text was : " Speak
unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." And
addressing the motley gathering of poor whites and
small planters before him as the "chosen people of
God," he urged them to press on in the mad course
their state had taken. It was a political harangue, a
genuine stump-speech, but its frequent allusions to the
auditory as the legitimate children of the old patriarch,
and the rightful heirs of all the promises, struck me as
THE COUNTRY CHURCH.
out of place in a rural district of South Carolina, how-
ever appropriate it might have been in one of the large
towns, before an audience of merchants and traders,
who are, almost to a man, Jews.
The services over, the congregation slowly left the
church. Gathered in groups in front of the "meeting-
house," they were engaged in a general discussion of
the affairs of the day, when the Colonel and I emerged
from the doorway. The better class greeted my host
with considerable cordiality, but I noticed that the well-
to-do small planters, who composed the greater part of
the assemblage, received him with decided coolness.
These people were the "North County folks," on whom
the overseer had invoked a hanging. Except that their
clothing was more uncouth and ill-fashioned, and their
faces generally less "cute" of expression, they did not
materially differ in appearance from the rustic citizens
who may -be seen on any pleasant Sunday gathered
around the doorways of the rural meeting-houses of
New England. -v
One of them, who was leaning against a tree, quietly
lighting a pipe, was a fair type of the whole, and as he
took a part in the scene which followed, I will describe
him. He was tall and spare, with a swinging, awkward
gait, and a wiry, athletic frame. His hair, which he
wore almost as long as a woman's, was coarse and black,
and his face strongly marked, and of the precise color
of two small rivulets of tobacco-juice that escaped from
the corners of his mouth. He had an easy, self-pos-
AMONG THE PINES.
sessed manner, and a careless, devil-may-care way about
him, that showed he had measured his powers, and was
accustomed to " rough it" with the world. He wore a
broadcloth coat of the fashion of some years ago, but
his waistcoat and nether garments of the common, red-
dish homespun, were loose and ill-shaped, as if their
owner did not waste thought on such trifles. His hat,
as shockingly bad as Horace Greeley's, had the inevi-
table broad brim, and fell over his face like a calash
awning over a shop-window. As I approached him
he extended his hand with a pleasant "How are ye,
« Very well," I replied, returning his grasp with
equal warmth, " how are you ?"
" Right smart, right smart, thank ye. You're — — "
the rest of the sentence was cut short by a gleeful ex-
clamation from. Jim, who, mounted on the box of the
carriage, which was drawn up on the cleared plot in
front of the meeting-house, waved an open newspaper
over his head, and called out, as he caught sight of the
"Great news, massa — great news from Charls'on!"
(The darky, while we were in church, had gone to the
post-office, some four miles away, and got the Colonel's
mail, which consisted of letters from his New York and
Charleston factors, the Charleston Courier and Mercury
and the New York Journal of Commerce, The latter
sheet, at the date of which I am writing, was in wide
circulation at the South, its piety (!) and its politics
THE COUNTRY CHURCH.
being then calculated with mathematical precision for
" What is it, Jim ?" shouted his master. " Give it to
The darky had somehow learned to read, but holding
the paper at arm's length, and throwing himself into a
theatrical attitude, he cried out, with any amount of
u De news am, massa, and gemmen and ladies, dat de
ole fort fore Charls'on hab ben devacuated by Major
Andersm and de sogers, and dey hab stole 'way in de
dark night and gone to Sumter, whar dey can't be took ;
and dat de ole Gubner hab got out a procdemation
dat all dat don't lub de Aberlishen Yankees shiil cum
up dar and clar 'em out ; and de paper say dat lots ob
sogers hab cum from Georgi and APbama, and 'way
down Souf, to help 'em. Dis am w'at de Currer say,"
he continued, holding the paper up to his eyes and read-
ing: 'Major Andersin, ob de United States army hab
'chieved de 'stinction ob op'ning cibil war 'tween Ameri-
can citizens ; he hab desarted Moulfrie, and by false fre-
texts hab took dat ole Garrison and all his millinery
stores to Fort Sumter."
" Get down, you d d nigger," said the Colonel,
laughing, and mounting the carriage-box beside him.
" You can't read. Old Garrison isn't there— he's the
d d Northern Abolitionist."
" I knows dat, Cunnel, but see dar," replied Jim, hold-
ing the paper out to his master, "don't dat say he'rn
AMONG THE PINES.
dar ? It'ni him dat make all de trubble. P'raps dis nig
oah't read, but ef dat aint readin' I'd like to know it !"
" Clear out," said the Golonel, no w actually roaring
with laughter ; " it's the garrison of soldiers that the
Courier speaks of, not the Abolitionist."
"Read it you~sef, den, massa, I don't seed it dat
Jim was altogether wiser than he appeared, but while
equally as well pleased with the news as his master, he
was so for an entirely different reason. In the crisis
which these tidings announced, he saw hope for his
The Colonel then read the paper to the assemblage.
The news was received with a variety of manifestations
by the auditory, the larger portion, I thought, hearing
it, as I did, with sincere regret.
" Xow is the time to stand by the state, my friends,"
said my host, as he finished the reading. " I hope every
man here is ready to do his duty by old South Carolina."
" Yes, sar I if she does har duty by the Union. We'll
go to the death for har just so long as she's in the right,
but not a d d step if she arn't," said the long-legged
native I have introduced to the reader.
" And what have you to say about South Carolina ?
What does she owe to you?" asked the Colonel, turn-
ing on the speaker with a proud and angry look.
" More, a darned sight, than she'll pay, if ye cursed
'ristocrats run her to h — as ye'r doin'. She owes me,
and 'bout ten as likely niggers as ye ever seed, a living,
THE COUNTRY CHURCH.
and we've d d hard work to get it out on her now,
let alone what's comin'."
" Don't talk to me, you ill-mannered cur," said my
-host, turning his buck on his neighbor, and directing his
attention to the remainder of the assemblage.
"Look har, Cunnel," replied the native, "if ye'll jesl
come down from thar, and throw 'way yer shootin'-
irons, I'll give ye the all-firedest thrashing ye ever, did
The Colonel gave no further heed to him, but the
speaker mounted the steps of the meeting-house and
harangued the natives in a strain of rude and passion-
ate declamation, in which my host, the aristocrats, and
the secessionists came in for about equal shares of
abuse. Seeing that the native (who, it appeared, was
quite popular as a stump-speaker) was drawing away
his audience, the Colonel descended from the driver's
seat, and motioning for me to follow, entered the 'car- .
riage. Turning the horses homeward, we rode off at a
"Not much secession about that fellow, Colonel," I
remarked, after a while. •
"No," he replied, "he's a North Carolina c corn-
cracker,' one of the ugliest specimens of humanity ex-
tant. They're as thick as fleas in this part of the state,
and about all of them are traitors."
" Traitors to the state, but true to the Union. As far
as I've seen, that is the case with the middling class
v /hrouo;hout the South."
AMONG THE PINES*
"Well, it may be, but they generally go with us,
and I reckon they will now, when it comes to the rub.
Those in the towns — the traders and mechanics — will,
certain; its only these half-way independent planters
that ever kick the traces. By the way," continued my
host, in a jocose way, "what did you think of the
preaching ?' x
" I thought it very poor. Fd rather have heard the
stump-speech, had it not been a little too personal on
"Well, it was the better of the two," he replied,
laughing, " but the old devil can't afford any thing good,
he don't get enough pay."
" Why, how much does he get ?"
" Only a hundred dollars."
" That is small. How does the man live ?"
" Weil, he teaches the daughter of my neighbor.
.Captain Randall, who believes in praying, and gives him
his board. Randall thinks that enough. The rest of
the parish can't afford to pay him, and I wont"
" Why wont you ?"
" Because he's a d d old hypocrite. He believes
in the Union with all his heart — at least so Randall,
.who's a sincere Union man, says — and yet, he never sees
me at meeting but he preaches a red-hot secession ser
" He wants to keep you in the faith," I replied
A few more miles of sandy road took us to the man
eion, where we found dinner in waiting. Meeting
THE COUNTRY CHUKCH.
"Massa Tommy" — who had staid at home with his
mother — as we entered the doorway, the Colonel asked
after the overseer.
" He seems well enough, sir ; I believe he's coming
the possum over mother."
" I'll bet on it, Tommy ; but he wont fool you and
me, will he, my boy ?" said his father, slapping him af-
fectionately on the back.
After dinner I went, with my host to the room o'f the
wounded man. His head was still bound up, and he
was groaning piteously, as if in great pain; but I
thought there was too fresh a color in his face to be en-
tirely natural in one who had lost so much blood, and
been so severely wounded as he affected to have been.
The Colonel mentioned our suspicions to Madam P ,
and suggested that the shackles should be put on him.
" Oh ! no, don't do that ; it would be inhuman," said
the lady ; " the color is the effect of fever. If you fear
he is plotting to get away, let him be watched."
The Colonel consented, but with evident reluctance,
to the arrangement, and retired to his room to take a
siesta, while I lit a segar, and strolled out to the negro
Making my way through the woods to the scene of
the morning's jollification, I found about a hundred
darkies gathered around Jim, on the little plot in front
of old Lucy's cabin. He had evidently been giving
them the news'. Pausing when I came near, he ex-
AMONG THE PINES.
" Har's Massa K , he'll say dat I tells you de
trufh ;" and turning to me, he said : " Massa K ,
dese darkies say da 4 Massa Andersin am an ab'lisherner,
and dat none but de ab'lisherners will fight for de Union;
am dat so, sar ?"
" No, I reckon not, Jim ; I' think the whole North
would fight for it if it were necessary."
"Am dat so, massa? am dat so?" eagerly inquired a
dozen of the darkies ; " and am dar great many folks at
de Norf — more dan dar am down bar ?"
"Tas, you fools, didn't I tell you dat?" said Jim, as
I, not exactly relishing the idea of preaching treason, in
the Colonel's absence, to his slaves, hesitated to reply.
" Haint I tole you," he continued, " dat in de big city
ob New York dar'm more folks dan in all Car'lina?
I'se been dar, and I knows; and Massa K '11 tell
you dat dey — most on 'em — feel mighty sorry for de
"No he wont," I replied, "and besides, Jim, you
should not talk in this way before me I might tell your
" ]STo ! you wont do dat ; I knows you wont, massa.
Scipio tole us he'd trust his bery life wid you?
" Well, perhaps he might ; it's true I would not injure
you ;" saying that, I turned away, though my curiosity
was greatly excited to hear more.
I wandered farther into the woods, and a half-hour
found me near one of the turpentine distilleries. Seat-
ing myself on a rosin barrel, I quietly finished my segar,
THE COUNTKY CHURCH. 191
and was about lighting another, when Jim made his ap-
" Beg pardon, Massa K ," said the negro, bowing
very low, " but I wants to ax you one or two tings, ef
you please, sar."
" Well," I replied, "I'll tell you any thing that I ought
" Per yer tink, den, massa, dat dey'll git to fightin' at
" Yes, judging by the tone of the Charleston papers
you've read to-day, I think they will."
"And der yer tink dat de rest ob de Souf will jine wid
Souf Car'lina, if she go at it fust ?"
" Yes, Jim, I'm inclined to think so."
" I hard you say to massa, dat ef dey goes to war, 'twill
free all de niggers — der you raily b'lieve dat, sar ?"
" You heard me say that ; how did you hear it ?" I
exclaimed, in surprise.
" Why, sar, de front winder ob de carriage war down
jess a crack, so I hard all you said."
" Did you let it down on purpose ?"
" PVaps so, massa. Whot's de use ob habin' ears, ef
you don't har ?"
" Well, I suppose not much ; and you tell all you hear
to the other negroes ?"
" I reckon so, massa," said the darky, looking very
"That's the use of having a tongue, eh?" I replied,
192 AMO^fGr THE PIKES.
K Dat's it 'zactly, massa."
" Well, Jim, I do think the slaves will be finally freed;
but it will cost more white blood to do it than all the
niggers in creation are worth. Do you think the darkies
would fight for their freedom?"
" Fight, Bar !" exclaimed the negro, straightening up
his fine form, while his usual good-natured look passed
from his face, an$ gave way to an expression that made
him seem more like an incarnate devil than- a human
being ; " fight, sar ; gib dem de chance, and den see."
"Why are you discontented ? You have been at the
North, and you know the blacks are as well off as the
majority of the poor laboring men there."
" You says dat to me, Massa K ; you don't say it
to de Gunnel. We am not so well off as de pore man
at de Norf ! You knows dat, sar. He hab his wife and
chil'ren, and his own home. What hab we, sar ? No
wife, no chil'ren, no home ; all am de white man's. Der
yer tink we wouldn't fight to be free?" and he pressed his
teeth together, and there passed again over his face the
same look it wore the moment before.
"Come, come, Jim, this may be true of your -race;
but it don't apply to yourself. Your master is kind and
indulgent to you"
" He am kine to me, sar ; he orter be," said the negro,
the savage expression coming again into his eyes. For
a moment he hesitated ; then, taking a step toward me,
he placed his face down to mine, and hissed out these
words, every syllable seeming to come from the very
THE COUNTRY CHURCH.
bottom of his being. " I tell you he orter be, sar, fur
I AM HIS OWN FATHER'S SOX !"
"Hu brother!" I exclaimed, springing to my feet,
and looking at him in blank amazement. " It can't be
" It am true, sar — as true as there's a hell ! His father
had my mother — when he got tired of her, he sold her
Souf. I war too young den eben to hioto her /"
" This is horrible — too horrible !" I said.
"It am slavery, sar! Shouldn't we be contented?"
replied the negro with a grim smile. Drawing, then, a
large spring-knife from his pocket, he waved it above
his head, and added: "Ef I had de hull white race dar —
right dar under dat knife, don't yer tink I'd take all dar
lives — all at one blow — to be free !"
"And yet you refused to run away when the Aboli-
tionists tempted you, at the North. Why didn't you
go then ?"
" 'Cause I had promised, massa."
" Promised the Colonel before you went ?"
"No, sar; he neber axed me; but I can't tell you no
more. P'raps Scipio will, ef ycu ax him."
" Oh ! I see ; you're in that league of which Scip is a
leader. You'll get into trouble, sure" I replied, in a
quick, decided tone, which startled him.
" Tou tole Scipio dat, sar, and what did he tell you?"
" That he didn't care for his life."
" No more do I, sar," said the negro, turning on his heel
with a proud, almost defiant gesture, and starting to go
AMONG THE PINES.
" A moment, Jim. You are very imprudent ; never
say these things to any other mortal ; promise me that."
" You'se bery good, massa, bery good. Scipio say
y oil's true, and he'm allers right. I ortent to hab said
what I hab ; but sumhow, sar, dat news brought it all
up har" (laying his hand on his breast), "and it wud
The tears filled his eyes as he said this, and turning
away without another word, he disappeared among the
I was almost stunned by this strange revelation, but
the more I reflected on it, the more probable it appeared.
Now ; too, that my thoughts were turned in that direc-
tion, 1 called to mind a certain resemblance between the
colonel and the negro that I had not heeded before.
Though one was a high-bred Southern gentleman, claim-
ing an old and proud descent, and the other a poor Af-
rican slave, they had some striking peculiarities which
might indicate a common origin. The likeness was not
in their features, for Jim's face was of the unmistakable
negro type, and his skin of a hue so dark that it seemed
impossible he could be the son of a white man (I after-
ward learned that his mother was a black of the deepest
dye), but it was in their form and general bearing.
They had the same closely-knit and sinewy frame, the
same erect, elastic step, the same rare blending of good-
natured ease and dignity — to which I have already al-
luded as characteristic of the Colonel — and in the wild
\>urst of passion that accompanied the negro's disclosure
THE COUNTRY CHUKCH.
of their relationship, I saw the same fierce, unbridled
temper, whose outbreaks I had witnessed in my host.
What a strange fate was theirs ! Two brothers — the
one the owner of three hundred slaves, and the first
man of his district — the other, a bonded menial, and so
poor that the very bread he ate, and the clothes he
wore, were another's !
I passed the remainder of the afternoon in my room,
and did not again meet my host until the family as-
sembled at the tea-table. Jim then occupied his accus-
tomed seat behind the Colonel's chair, and that gentle-
man was in more than his usual spirits, though Madam
P , I thought, wore a sad and absent look.
The conversation rambled over a wide range of sub-
jects, and was carried on mainly by the Colonel and
myself; but toward the close of the meal the lady said
' 4 Mr. K , Sam and young Junius are to be buried
this evening ; if you have never seen a negro funeral,
perhaps you'd like to attend."
" I will be happy to accompany you, Madam, if you
go," I replied.
" Thank you," said the lady.
" Pshaw ! Alice, you'll not go into the woods on so
cold a night as this !" said the Colonel.
"Yes, I think I ought to. Our people will expect
196 AMO^G THE PINES.
THE NEGRO FUNERAL.
It was about an hour after nightfall when Ave took
our way to the burial-ground. The moon had risen,
but the clouds which gathered when the sun went
down, covered its face, and were fast spreading their
thick, black shadows over the little collection of negro-
houses. Near two new-made graves were gathered
some two hundred men and women, as dark as the
night that was setting around them. As we entered
the circle the old preacher pointed to seats reserved for
us, and the sable crowd fell back a few paces, as if, even
in the presence of death, they did not forget the differ-
ence between their race and ours.
Scattered here and there among the trees, torches of
lightwood threw a wild and fitful light over the little
cluster of graves, revealing the long, straight boxes of
rough pine that held the remains of the two negroes,
and lighting up the score or two of russet mounds where
slept the dusky kinsmen who had gone before them.
The simple head-boards that marked these hinnble
graves chronicled no bad biography or senseless rhyme,,
md told no false tales of lives that might better not have
been, but "Sam, age 22;" "Pompeyj" "Jake's Eliza;"
THE NEGRO FUNERAL.
"Aunt Sue;" "Aunt Lucy's Tom;" "Joe;" and
other like inscriptions, scratched in rough characters on
the unplaned boards, were all the records there. The
rude tenants had passed away and " left no sign ;" their
birth, their age, their deeds, were alike unknown — un-
known, but not forgotten ! for are they not written in
the book of His remembrance — and when he counteth
up his jewels, may not some of them be there ?
The queer, grotesque dress, and sad, earnest looks of
the black group ; the red, fitful glare of the blazing
pine, and the white faces of the tapped trees, gleaming
through the gloom like so many sheeted ghosts gather-
ed to some death-carnival, made up a strange, wild scene
— the strangest and the wildest I had ever witnessed*
The covers of the rude coffins were not yet nailed
down, and when we arrived, the blacks were, one by
one, taking a last look at the faces of the dead. Soon,
Junius, holding' his weeping wife by the hand, ap-
proached the smaller of the two boxes, which held all
that was left of their first-born. The mother, kneeling
by its side, kissed again and again the cold, shrunken
lips, and sobbed as if her heart would break ; and the
strong frame of the father shook convulsively, as he
choked down the great sorrow which welled up in his
throat, and turned away from his boy forever. As he
did so, old Pompey said :
" Don't grebe, June, he'm whar de wicked cease from
trubling, whar de weary am at rest."
"I knows it ; I knows it, Uncle. I knows de Lord
—AMONG THE PINES.
am bery good to take 'im 'way ; but why did he take
de young chile, and leab de ole man har ?"
" De little sapling dat grow in de shade may die while
it'm young ; de great tree dat grow in de sun must lib
till he'm rotted down."
These words were the one drop wanting to make the
great grief which was swelling in the negro's heart
overflow. Giving one low, wild cry, he folded his wife
in his arms, and burst into a paroxysm of tears.
"Come now, my chil'ren," said the old preacher,
kneeling down, " let us pray."
The whole assemblage then knelt on the cold ground,
while the old man prayed, and a more sincere, heart-
touching prayer never went up from human lips to that
God " who hath made of one blood all nations that
dwell on the face of the earth." Though clothed in
rags, and in feeble age at the mercy of a cruel task-
master, that old slave was richer far than his master.
His simple faith, which saw through the darkness around
him into the clear and radiant light ot* the unseen day,
was of far more worth than all the wealth and glory
of this world. I know not why it was, but as I looked
at him in the dim red light, which fell on his bent form
and cast a strange halo around his upturned face, I
thought of Stephen, as he gazed upward and beheld
heaven open, and " the Son of Man seated at the right
hand of the throne of God."
Rising from his knees, the old preacher turned slowly
to the black mass that encircled him, and said :
THE NEGHO FUNERAL. 199
" My dear brederin and sisters, de Lord say dat 4 de
dust shill return to de earth as it war, and de spirit to
Him who gabe it,' and now, 'eordin' to dat text, my
friends, w r e'm gwine to put dis dust (pointing to the
two coffins) in de groun' whar it cum from, and whar it
shill lay till de bressed Lord blow de great trumpet on
de resumrection mornin'. De spirits of our brudders
bar de Lord hab already took to hisseff. c Our brud-
ders,' I say, my chiTren, 'case ebery one dat de Lord
hab made am brudders to you and to me, whedder
dey'm bad or good, white or brack.
" Dis young chile, who hab gone 'way and leff his
pore fader and mudder suifrin' all ober wid grief, he
hab gone to de Lord, shore. He neber done no wrong,
he allers 'bey'd his massa, and neber said no hard word,
nor found no fault, not eben w'en de cruel, bad ober-
seer put de load so heaby on him dat it kill him. Yes,
my brederin and sisters, he hab gone to de Lord ; gone
whar dey don't work in de swamps ; whar de little
chil'ren don't tote de big shingles fru de water up to dar
knees. No swamps am dar ; no shingles am dar ; dey
doan't need 'em, 'case dar de hous'n haint builded wid
hands, for dey'm all builded by de Lord, and gib'n to
de good niggers, ready-made, and for nuffin'. De Lord
don't say, like as ded massa say, c Pomp, dar's de logs
and de shingles' (dey'm allers pore shingles, &?, kine dat
woant sell ; but massa say, % dey'm good 'miff for nig-
gers,' ef de roof do leak). De Lord doan't say : ' Now,
Pomp, you go to work and build you' own house ; but
AMONG THE PINES.
mine dat you does you' task all -de time, jess de same!'
But de Lord — de bressed Lord — He say, w'en we goes
up dar, c Dar, Pomp, dax's de house dat I'se been a
buildin' for you eber senee c de foundation ob de worle.
It'm done now, and you kin cum in ; your room am
jess ready, and ole Sal and de chil'ren dat I tuk 'way
from you eber so long ago, and dat you mourned ober
and cried ober as ef you'd neber see dem agin, dey'm dar
too, all on 'em, a wait-in, for you. Dey'm been flxin' up
de house 'spressly for you all dese long years, and dey'b
got it all nice and comfible now.' Yas, my friends,
glory be to Him, dat's what our Heabenly massa say,
and who ob you wouldn't hab sich a massa as dat ? A
massa dat doant set you no hard tasks, and dat gibs you
'nuff to eat, and time to rest and to sing and to play ! A
massa dat doan't keep no Yankee oberseer to foller you
'bout wid de big free-lashed whip ; but dat leads you
hisseff to de green pastures and de still waters ; and
w'en you'm a-faint and a-tired, and can't go no furder,
dat takes you up in his arms, and carries you in his
bosom ! What pore darky am dar dat wudn't hab sicli
a massa ? What one ob us, eben ef he had to work
jess so hard as we works nowv wudn't tink heseff de
happiest nigger in de hull worle, ef he could hab sich
hous'n to lib in as dem ? dem hous'n c not made wid
hands, eternal in de heabens!'
" But glory, glory to de Lord ! my chil'ren, wese all
got dat massa, ef we only knowd it, and He'm buildin'
dem hous'n up dar, now, for ebery one ob us dat am try-
THE NEGRO FUNERAL.
in' to be good and to lub one anoder. For ebery one
ob us, I say, and we kin all git de fine hous'n ef we
" Recolember, too, my brudders, dat our great Massa
am rich, bery rich, and he kin do all he promise. He
doant say, w'en wese worked ober time to git some lit-
tle ting to comfort de sick chile, £ I knows, Pomp, you'se
done de work, an' I did 'gree to gib you de pay ; but
de fact am, Pomp, de frost hab come so sudden dis yar,
dat I'se loss de hull ob de sebenf h dippin', and I'se pore,
so pore, de chile muss go widout dis time.' No, no,
brudders, de bressed Lord He neber talk so. He neber
break, 'case de sebenfh dip am shet off, or 'case de price
of turpentime gwo down at de Norf. He neber sell his
niggers down Souf, 'case he lose his money on he hoss-
race. No, my chil'ren, our Heabenly Massa am rich,
rich, I say. He own all dis worle, and all de oder
worles dat am shinin' up dar in de sky. He own dem
all ; but he tink more ob one ob you, more ob one ob
you — pore, ign'rant brack folks dat you am— dan ob
all dem great worles ! Who wouldn't belong to sich a
Massa as dat ? Who wouldn't be his nigger — not his
slave — He doant hab no slaves — but his chile ; and * ef
his chile, den his heir, de heir ob God, and de jined heir
wid de bressed Jesus.' O my chil'ren ! tink of dat ! de
heir ob de Lord ob all de 'arth and all de sky ! What
white man kin be jnore'n dat ?
" Don't none ob you say you'm too wicked to be His
chile ; 'ca'se you haint. He lubs de wicked ones de best,
AMONG THE PINES.
'ca'se dey need his lub de most. Yas, my brudders,
eben de wickedest, ef dey's only sorry, and turn roun'
and leab off dar bad ways, he lub de bery best ob all,
'ca'se he'm all lub and pity.
" Sam, har, my chil'ren, war wicked, but don't we
pity him ; don't we tink he hab a hard time, and don't
we tink de bad oberseer, who'm layin' dar in de house
jess ready to gwo and answer for it — don't we tink he
gabe Sam bery great probincation ?
" Dat's so," said a dozen of the auditors.
" Den don't you 'spose dat de bressed Lord know all
dat, and dat He pity Sam too. If we pore sinners feel
sorrer for him, haint de Lord's heart bigger'n our'n, and
haint he more sorrer for him ? Don't you tink dat ef
He lub and pity de bery worse whites, dat He lub and
pity pore Sam, who warn't so bery bad, arter all?
Don't you tink He'll gib Sam a house ? P'r'aps' 'twont
be one ob de fine hous'n, but wont it be a comfible
house, dat hain't no cracks, and one dat'll keep out de
wind and de rain ? And, don't you s'pose, my chil'ren,
dat it'll be big 'nuff for Jule, too — dat pore, repentin'
chile, whose heart am clean broke, 'ca'se she hab brought-
en dis on Sam — and won't de Lord — -de good Lord — de
tender-hearted Lord — won't He touch Sam's heart, and
coax him to forgib Jule, and to take her inter his house
up dar ? I knows he will, my chil'ren. I knows "
The old negro paused abruptly; there was a quick
swaying in the black crowd — a hasty rush — a wild cry —
and Sam's wife burst into the open space around the
THE NEGRO FUNERAL.
preacher, and fell at his feet. Throwing her arms wildly
about him, she shrieked out :
" Say dat agin, Uncle Pomp ! for de lub ob de good
Lord, oh ! say dat agin ! "
Bending down, the old man raised her gently in his
arms, and folding her there, as he would have folded a
child, he said, in a voice thick with emotion :
" It am so, Juley. I knows dat Sam will forgib you,
and take you wid him up dar."
Fastening her arms frantically around Pompey's neck,
the poor woman burst into a paroxysm of grief, while
the old man's tears fell in great drops on her upturned
face, and many a dark cheek was wet, as with rain.
The scene Lad lasted a few minutes, and I was turning
away to hide the emotion that fast filled my eyes, and
was creeping up, with a choking feeling, to my throat,
when the Colonel, from the farther edge of the group,
called out :
" Take that d — d away — take her away, Pomp !"
The old negro turned toward his master with a sad,
grieved look, but gave no heed to the words.
" Take her away, some of you, I say," again cried the
Colonel. "Pomp, you mustn't keep these niggers all
night in the cold."
At the sound of her master's voice the metif woman
fell to the ground as if struck by a Minie-ball. Soon
several negroes lifted her up to bear her off; but she
struggled violently, and rent the woods with her wild
cries for " one more look at Sam."
AMONG THE PINES.
" Look at him, you &r— d ; then go, and don't let*
me see you again."
She threw herself on the face of the dead, and cov-
ered the cold lips with her kisses ; then she rose, and
with a weak, uncertain step, staggered out into the
Was not the system which had so seared and hard-
ened that man's heart, begotten in the lowest hell ?
The old preacher said no more, but four stout negro
men stepped forward, nailed down the lids, and lowered
the rough boxes into the ground. Turning to Madam
P , I saw her face was red with weeping. She
turned to go as the first earth fell, with a dull, heavy
sound, on the rude coffins ; and giving her my arm, I
led her from the scene.
As we walked slowly back to the house, a low wail —
half a chant, half a dirge — rose from the black crowd,
and floated off on the still night air, till it died away
amid the far woods, in a strange, unearthly moan. With
that sad, wild music in our ears, we entered the mansion.
As we seated ourselves by the bright wood-fire on*
the library hearth, obeying a sudden impulse which I
could not restrain, I said to Madam P :
"The Colonel's treatment of that poor woman is in-
explicable to me. Why is he so hard with her ? It is
not in keeping with what I have seen of his character."
"The Colonel is a peculiar man," replied the lady.
" Noble, generous, and a true friend, he is also a bitter,
implacable enemy. When he once conceives a dislike,
THE NEGKO FUKEKAL.
liis feelings become even vindictive. Never having had
an nngratified wish, he does not know how to feel for
the sorrows of those beneath him. Sam, though a proud,
headstrong, unruly character, was a great favorite with
him ; he felt his death much ; and as he attributes it to
Jule, he feels terribly bitter toward her. She will have
to be sold to get her out of his way, for he will never
It was some time before the Colonel joined us, and
when at last he made his appearance, he seemed in no
mood for conversation. The lady soon retired; but
feeling unlike sleep, I took down a book from the shelves,
drew my chair near the fire, and fell to reading. The
Colonel, too, was deep in the newspapers, till, after a
while, Jim entered the room :
" I'se cum to ax ef you've nuffin more to-night, Cun-
nel ?" said the negro.
" No, nothing, Jim," replied his master ; " but, stay
— hadn't you better sleep in front of Moye's door ?"
"Dunno, sar; jess as you say."
. " I think you'd better," returned the Colonel.
" Yas, massa," and the darky -left the apartment.
The Colonel shortly rose, and bade me " good-night."
I continued reading till the clock struck eleven, when I
laid the book aside and went to my room.
I lodged, as I have said before, on the first floor, and
was obliged to pass by the overseer's apartment in go-
ing to mine. Wrapped in his blanket, and stretched at
full length on the ground, Jim lay there, fast asleep.
AMONG THE PINES.
I passed on, thinking of the wisdom of placing a tired
negro on guard over an acute and desperate Yankee.
I rose in the morning with the sun, and had partly
donned my clothing, when I heard a loud uproar in the
hall. Opening my door, I saw Jim pounding vehe-
mently at the Colonel's room, and looldng as pale as is
possible wdth a person of his complexion.
"What the d — 1 is the matter?" asked his master,
who now, partly dressed, stepped into the hall.
- "Move hab gone, sar — he'm gone and took Firefly
(my host's five-thousand-dollar thorough-bred) wid him."
For a moment the Colonel stood stupified ; then, his
face turning to a cold, clayey white, he seized the black
by the throat, and hurled him to the floor. With his
thick boot raised, he seemed about to dash out the man's
brains with its ironed heel, when, on the instant, the oc-
toroon woman rushed, in her night-clothes, from his
room, and, with desperate energy, pushed him aside,
exclaiming : " What would you do ? Remember who
The negro rose, and the Colonel, without a word,
passed into his own apartment.
I sauntered out, after the events recorded in the last
chapter, to inhale the fresh air of the morning. A slight
rain had fallen during the night, and it still moistened
the dead leaves which carpeted the woods, making an
extended walk out of the question ; so, seating myself
on the trunk of a fallen tree, in the vicinity of the house,
I awaited the hour for breakfast. I had not remained
there long before I heard the voices of my host and
Madam P on the front piazza :
" I tell you, Alice, I cannot — must not do it. If I
overlook this, the discipline of the plantation is at an
" Do what you please with him when you return," re-
plied the lady, "but do not chain him up, and leave me,
at such a time, alone. You know Jim is the only one I
can depend on."
" Well, have your own way. You know, my darling,
I would not cause you a moment's uneasiness, but I
must follow up this d d Move."
I was seated where I could hear, though I could not
see the speakers, but it was evident from the tone of the
last remark, that an action accompanied it quite as ten-
AMONG THE PINES.
der as the words. Being unwilling to overhear more
of a private conversation, I rose and approached them.
"Ah ! my dear fellow," said the Colonel, on perceiving
me, " are you stirring so early ? I was about to send to
your room to ask if you'll go with me up the country.
My d d overseer has got away, and I must follow
him at once."
" I'll go with pleasure," I replied. " Which way do
you think Moye has gone ?"
" The shortest cut to the railroad, probably ; but old
Csesar will track him."
A servant then announced breakfast — an early one
having been prepared. We hurried through the meal
with all speed, and the other preparations being soon
over, were in twenty minutes in our saddles, and ready
for the journey. The mulatto coachman, with a third
horse, was at the door, ready to accompany us. As we
mounted, the Colonel said to him :
" Co and call Sam, the driver."
The darky soon returned with the heavy, ugly-visaged
black who had been whipped, by Madam P 's order,
the day before.
"Sam," said his master, "I shall be gone some days,
and I leave the field-work in your hands. Let me have
a good account of you when I return."
" Yas, massa, you shill dat," replied the negro.
" Put Jule — Sam's Jule — into the woods, and see that
she does full tasks," continued the Colonel.
" Haint she wanted 'mong de nusses, massa ?"
Put some one else there — give her field-work ; she
On large plantations the young children of the field-
women are left with them only at night, and are herded
together during the day, in a separate cabin, in charge
of nurses. These nurses are feeble, sickly women, or re-
cent mothers ; and the fact of Jule's being employed in
that capacity was evidence that she was unfit for out-
Madam P , who was waiting on the piazza to see
us off, seemed about to remonstrate against this ar-
rangement, but she hesitated a moment, and in that
moment we had bidden her " Good-bye," and galloped
We were soon at the cabin of the negro-hunter, and
the coachman, dismounting, called him out.
" Hurry up, hurry up," said the Colonel, as Sandy ap-
peared, " we haven't a moment to spare."
"Jest so — jest so, Gunnel; I'll jine ye in a jimn," re-
plied he of the reddish extremities.
Emerging from the shanty with provoking delibera-
tion — the impatience of my host had infected me — the
clay-eater slowly proceeded to mount the horse of the
negro, while his dirt-bedraggled wife, and clay-encrusted
children, followed close at his heels, the younger ones
huddling around for the tokens of paternal affection
usual at parting. Whether it was the noise they made,
or their frightful aspect, I know not, but the horse, a
spirited animal, took fright on their appearance, and
AMONG THE PINES.
nearly broke away from the negro, who was holding
him. Seeing this, the Colonel said :
" Clear out, you young scare-crows. Into the house
" They arn't no more scare-crows than yourn, Cunnel
J ," said the mother, in a decidedly belligerent tone.
" You may 'buse my old man — he kin stand it— but ye
shan't blackguard my young 'uns!"
The Colonel laughed, and was about to make a good-
natured reply, when Sandy yelled out :
" Gwo enter the house and shet up, ye ."
With this affectionate fare well, he turned his horse"
and led the way up the road.
♦ The dog, who was a short distance in advance, soon
gave a piercing howl, and started off at the speed of a
reindeer. He had struck the trail, and urging our
horses to their fastest speed, we followed.
We were all well mounted, but the mare the Colonel
had given me was a magnificent animal, as fleet as the
wind, and with a gait so easy that her back seemed a
rocking-chair. Saddle-horses at the South are trained
to the gallop — Southern riders not deeming it necessary
that one's breakfast should be churned into a Dutch
cheese by a trotting nag, in order that he may pass for
We had ridden on at a perfect break-neck pace for half
an hour, when the Colonel shouted to our companion :
"Sandy, call the dog in; the horses wont last ten
miles at this gait — we've a long ride before us."
The dirt-eater did as he was bidden, and we soon set-
tled iiito a gentle gallop.
We had passed through a dense forest of pines, but
were emerging into a " bottom country," where some of
the finest deciduous trees — then brown and leafless, but
bearing promise of the opening beauty of spring — reared,
along with the unfading evergreen, their tall stems in
the air. The live-oak, the sycamore, the Spanish mul-
berry, the holly, and the persimmon — gaily festooned
with wreaths of the white and yellow jessamine, the
woodbine and the cypress-moss, and bearing here and
there a bouquet of the mistletoe, with its deep green and
glossy leaves upturned to the sun — flung their broad
arms over the road, forming an archway grander and
more beautiful than any the hand of man ever wove for
the greatest hero the world has worshipped.
The woods were free from underbrush, and a coarse,
wiry grass, unfit for fodder, and scattered through them
in detatched patches, was the only vegetation visible.
The ground was mainly covered with the leaves and
burrs of the pine.
We passed great numbers of swine, feeding on these
burrs, and now and then a horned animal browsing on
the cypress-moss where it hung low on the trees. I ob-
served that nearly all the swine were marked, though
they seemed too wild to have ever seen an owner, or a
human habitation. They were a long, lean, slab-sided
race, with legs and shoulders like deer, and bearing
no sort of resemblance to the ordinary hog, except in
AMONG THE PINES.
tlie snout, and that feature was so much longer and
sharper than the nose of the Northern swine, 'that I
doubt if Agassiz would class the two as one species.
However, they have their uses — they make excellent
bacon, and are " death on snakes." Ireland itself is not
more free from the serpentine race than are the districts
frequented by these long-nosed quadrupeds.
" We call them Carolina race-horses," said the Colonel,
as he finished an account of their peculiarities.
" Race-horses ! Why, are they fleet of foot ?"
" Fleet as deer. I'd match one against an ordinary
horse at any time."
" Come, my friend, you're practising on my ignorance
of natural history."
"Not a bit of it. See! there's a good specimen
yonder. If we can. get him into the road, and fairly
started, I'll bet you a dollar he'll beat Sandy's mare on
a half-mile stretch — Sandy to hold the stakes and have
u Well, agreed," I said, laughing, " and I'll give the
pig ten rods the start."
" No," replied the Colonel, " you can't afford it.
He'll have to start ahead, but you'll need that in the
count. Come, Sandy, will you go in for the pile ?"
I'm not sure that the native would not have run a
race with Old Nicholas himself, for the sake of so much
money. To him it was a vast sum ; and as he thought
of it, his eyes struck small sparks, and his enormous
beard and mustachio vibrated with something that
faintly resembled a laugh. Replying to the question,
" Kinder reckon I wull, Cunnel; howsomdever, I keeps
the stakes, ony how ?"
" Of course," said the planter, " but be honest — win
if you can."
Sandy halted his horse in the road, while the planter
and I took to the woods on either side of the way. The
Colonel soon manoeuvred to separate the selected ani-
mal from the rest of the herd, and, without much diffi-
culty, got him into the road, where, by closing down on
each flank, we kept him till he and Sandy were fairly
" He'll keep to the road when once started," said the
Colonel, laughing: "and he'll show you some of the
tallest running you ever saw in your life."
Away they went. At first the pig, seeming not ex-
actly to comprehend the programme, cantered off at
a leisurely pace, though be held his own. Soon, how-
ever, he cast an eye behind him — halted a moment to
collect his thoughts and reconnoitre — and then, lower-
ing his head and elevating his tail, put forth all his
speed. And such speed ! Talk of a deer, the w^ind, or
a steam-engine — they are not to be compared with it.
Nothing in nature I ever saw run— except, it may be, a
Southern tornado, or a Sixth Ward politician — could
hope to distance that pig. He gained on the horse at
every step, and it w^as soon evident that my dollar waa
gone ! #
AMONG THE PINES.
" ' In for a shilling, in for a pound,' is the adage, so,
turning to the Colonel, I said, as intelligibly as my
horse's rapid pace and my excited risibilities wouid
" I see I've lost, but I'll go you another dollar that
you can't beat the pig !"
" ~No — sir !" the Colonel got out in the breaks of his
laughing explosions ; " you can't hedge on me in that
manner. I'll go a dollar that you can't do it, and your
mare is the fastest on the road. She won me a thou-
sand not a month ago."
" Well, I'll do it— Sandy to have the stakes."
" Agreed," said the Colonel, and away ice went.
The swinish racer was about a hundred yards ahead
when I gave the mare the reins, and told her to go.
And she did go. She flew against the wind with a mo-
tion so rapid that my face, as it clove the air, felt as if
cutting its way through a solid body, and the trees, as
we passed, seemed struck with panic, and running for
dear life in the opposite direction.
For a few moments I thought the mare was gaining,
and I turned to the Colonel with an exultant look.
"Don't shout till you win, my boy," he called out
from the distance where I was fast leaving him and
I did not shout, for spite of all my efforts the space
between me and the pig seemed to widen. Yet I kept
on, determined to win, till, at the end of a short half-
mile, we reacted the Waccamaw — the swine still a
hundred yards ahead! There his pigship halted, turn*
ed coolly around, eyed me for a moment, then with a
quiet, deliberate trot, turned off into the woods.
A bend in the road kept my companions out of sight
for a few moments, and when they came up I had some-
what recovered my breath, though the mare was blow-
ing hard, and reeking with foam.
" Well," said the Colonel, u what do you think of our
bacon ' as it runs ?' "
" I think the Southern article can't be beat, whether
raw or cooked, standing or running."
At this moment the hound, who had been leisurely
jogging along in the rear, disdaining to join in the race
in which his dog of a master and I had engaged, came
up, and dashing quickly on to the river's edge, set up
a most dismal howling. The Colonel dismounted, and
clambering down the bank, which was there twenty feet
high, and very steep, shouted :
u The d — d Yankee has swum the stream !"
" Why so ?" I asked.
" To cover his tracks and delay pursuit ; but he has
overshot the mark. There is no other road within ten
miles, and he must have taken to this one again beyond
here. HeVlost twenty minutes by this manoeuvre. Come,
Sandy, call in the dog, we'll push on a little faster."
" But he tuk to t'other bank, Cunnel. Shan't we trail
him thar ?" asked Sandy.
" And suppose he found a boat here," I suggested,
" and made the shore some ways down ?"
AMONG THE PINES.
" He couldn't get Firefly into a flat — we should only
waste time in scouring the other bank. The swamp
this side the next run has forced him into the road
within five miles. The trick is transparent. He took
me for a fool," replied the Colonel, answering both ques-
tions at once.
I had reined my horse out of the road, and when my
companions turned to go, was standing at the edge of
the Dank, overlooking the river. Suddenly I saw, on
one of the abutments of the bridge, what seemed a long,
black log — strange to say, in motion !
" Colonel," I shouted, " see there ! a live log as I'm a
white man !"
" Lord bless you," cried the planter, taking an observa-
tion, " it's an alligator !"
I said no more, but pressing on after the hound, soon
left my companions out of sight. For long afterward,
the Colonel, in a doleful way, would allude to my la-
mentable deficiency in natural history — particularly in
such branches as bacon and "live logs."
I had ridden about five miles, keeping well up with
the hound, and had reached the edge of the swamp,
when suddenly the dog darted to the side of the road,
and began to yelp in the most frantic manner. Dis-
mounting, and leading jny horse to the spot, I made out
plainly the print of Firefly's feet in the sand. There
was no mistaking it — that round shoe on the off fore-
foot. (The horse had, when a colt, a cracked hoof, and
though the wound was outgrown, the foot was still ten-
der.) These prints were dry, while the tracks we had
seen at the river were filled with water, thus proving
that tl e rain had ceased while the overseer was passing
between the two places, fie was therefore not far off.
The Colonel and Sandy soon rode up.
" Caught a live log ! eh, my good fellow ?" asked my
host, with a laugh.
" No ; but here's the overseer as plain as daylight ;
and his tracks not wet !"
Quickly dismounting, he examined the ground, and
" The d — 1 it's a fact — here not four hours ago 1
He has doubled on his tracks since, I'll wager, and not
made twenty miles — we'll have him before night, sure !
Come, mount — quick."
We sprang into our saddles, and again pressed rapidly
on after the dog, who followed the scent at the top of
Some three miles more of wet, miry road took us .to
the run of which the Colonel had spoken. Arrived
there, we foimd the hound standing on the bank, wet to
the skin, and looking decidely chop-fallen.
" Death and d n !" shouted the Colonel ; " the dog
has swum the run, and lost the trail on the other side !
The d — d scoundrel has taken to the water, and balked
us after all ! Take up the dog, Sandy, and try him again
The native spoke to Caesar, who bounded on to the
horse's back in front of his master. They then crossed
AMONG THE PIKES.
the stream, which there was about fifty yards wide, and
so shallow that in the deepest part the water merely
touched the horse's breast ; but it was so roiled by the
recent rain that we could not distinguish the foot-prints
of the horse beneath the surface.
The dog ranged up and down the opposite bank, but
all to no purpose : the overseer had not been there.
He had gone either up or down the stream — in which
direction, was now the question. Calling Sandy back
to our side of the run, the Colonel proceeded to hold a
4 council of war.' Each one gave his opinion, which was
canvassed by the others, with as much solemnity as if
the fate of the Ur^on hung on the decision.
The native proposed we should separate — one go
up, another down the stream, and the third, with the
dog, follow the road ; to which he thought Moye had
finally returned. Those who should explore the run
w r ould easily detect the horse's tracks where he had
left it, and then taking a straight course to the road,
all might meet some five miles further on, at a place
I gave my adhesion to Sandy's plan, but the Colonel
overruled it on the ground of the waste of time that
would be incurred in thus recovering the overseer's
" Why not," he said, " strike at once for the end of his
route ? Why follow the slow steps he took in order to
throw us olf the track ? He has not come back to this
road. Ten miles below there is another one leading also
to the railway. He has taken that. We might as
well send Sandy and the dog back and go on by our-
" But if bound for the Station, why should he wade
through the creek here, ten miles out of his way ? "Why
not go straight on by the road ?" I asked.
" Because he knew the dog would track him, and he
hoped by taking to the run to make me think he
had crossed the country instead of striking for the rail-
I felt sure the Colonel was wrong, but knowing him
to be tenacious of his own opinions, I made no further
Directing Sandy to call on Madam P and acquaint
her with our progress, he then dismissed the negro-
hunter, and once more led the way up the road.
The next twenty miles, like our previous route, lay
through an unbroken forest. As we left the water-
courses, we saw only the gloomy pines, which there —
the region being remote from the means of transporta-
tion — were seldom tapped, and presented few of the
openings that invite the weary traveller to the dwelling
of the hospitable planter.
After a time the sky, which had been bright and
cloudless all the morning, grew overcast, and gave out
tokens of a coming storm. A black cloud gathered in
the west, and random flashes darted from it far off in
the distance ; then gradually it neared us ; low mutter-
ings sounded in the air, and the tops of the tall pines a
AMONG THE PINES.
few miles away, were lit up now and then with a fitful
"blaze, all the brighter for the deeper gloom that suc-
ceeded. Then a terrific flash and peal broke directly
over us, and a great tree, struck by a red-hot bolt, fell
with a deafening crash, half way across our path. Peal
after peal followed, and then the rain — not filtered into
drops as it falls from our colder sky, but in broad, blind-
ing sheets — poured full and heavy on our shelterless
"Ah! there it comes!" shouted the Colonel. "God
have mercy upon us !"
As he spoke, a crashing, crackling, thundering roar
rose above the storm, filling the air, and shaking the
solid earth till it trembled beneath our horses' feet, as if
upheaved by a volcano. ISTearer and nearer the sound
came, till it seemed that all the legions of darkness were
unloosed in the forest, and were mowing down the great
pines as the mower mows the grass with his scythe.
Then an awful, sweeping crash thundered directly at our
backs, and turning round, as if to face a foe, my horse,
who had borne the roar and the blinding flash till then
unmoved, paralyzed with dread, and panting for breath,
sunk to the ground ; while close at my side the Colonel,
standing erect in his stirrups, his head uncovered to the
pouring sky, cried out :
"Thank God, we are saved!"
There — not three hundred yards in our rear, had pass-
ed the tornado — uprooting trees, prostrating dwellings,
and sending many a soul to its last account, but sparing
us for another day ! For thirty miles through the forest
it had mowed a swath of two hundred feet, and then
moved on to stir the ocean to its briny depths.
With a full heart, I remounted, and turning my horse,
pressed on in the rain. We said not a word till a friend-
ly opening pointed the way to a planter's dwelling.
Then calling to me to follow, the Colonel dashed up the
"by-path which led to the mansion, and in five minutes
we were warming our chilled limbs before the cheerful
fire that roared and crackled on its broad hearth-stone.
AXONG THE PINES.
The house was a large, old-fashioned frame building,
square as a packing-box, and surrounded, as all country
dwellings at the South are, by a broad, open piazza.
Our summons was answered by its owner, a well-to-do,
substantial, middle-aged planter, wearing the ordinary
homespun of the district, but evidently of a station in
life much above the common "corn-crackers" I had seen
at the country meeting-house. The Colonel was an ac-
quaintance, and greeting us with great cordiality, our
host led the way directly to the sitting-room. There we
found a bright, blazing fire, and a pair of bright sparkling
eyes, the latter belonging to a blithesome young woman
of about twenty, with a cheery face, and a half-rustic,
half-cultivated air, whom our new friend introduced to
us as his wife.
M I regret not having had the pleasure of meeting Mrs,
S before, but am very happy to meet her now," said
the Colonel, with all the well-bred, gentlemanly ease that
" The pleasure is mutual, Colonel J ," replied the
lady, "but thirty miles in this wild country, should not
have made a neighbor so distant as you have been."
THE YANKEE SCHOOL-MISTRESS.
" Business, madam, is at fault, as your husband knows.
I Lave much to do ; and besides, all my connections are
in the other direction — with Charleston."
"It's a fact, Sally, the Colonel is the d busy
man hi these parts. Not content with a big planta-
tion and three hundred niggers, he iooks after all
South Carolina, and the rest of creation to boot," said
"Tom will have his joke, Madam, but he's not far
from the truth."
Seeing we were dripping wet, the lady offered us a
change of clothing, and retiring to a chamber, we each
appropriated a suit belonging to our host, giving our
own to a servant, to be dried.
Arrayed in our fresh apparel, we soon rejoined our
friends in the sitting-room. The new garments fitted
the Colonel tolerably well, but, though none too long,
they were a world too wide for me, and as my wet hair
hung in smooth flat folds down my cheeks, and my limp
shirt-collar fell over my linsey coat, I looked, for all the
world like a cross between a theatrical Aminadab Sleek
and Sir John Falstaff, with the stuffing omitted. When
our hostess caught sight of me in this new garb, she
rubbed her hands together in great glee, and, springing
to her feet, gave vent to a perfect storm of laughter-
jerking out between the explosions :
" Why — you — you — look jest like — a scare-crow."
There was no mistaking that hearty, hoydenish man-
ner ; and seizing both of her hands in mine, I shouted :
AMONG THE PIKES.
"I've found you out — you're a "country-woman" ot
mine — a clear-blooded Yankee!"
" What ! you a Yankee !" she exclaimed, still laugh-
ing, "and here with this horrid £ secesherner,' as they
"True as preachin', Ma'am," I replied, adopting the
drawl — " all the way from Down East, and Union, tu,
stiff as buckram."
"Du tell !" she exclaimed, swinging my hands together
as she held them in hers. " If I warn't hitched to this
'ere feller, I'd give ye a smack right on the spot. I'm
so glad to see ye."
"Do it, Sally — never mind me," cried her husband,
joining heartily in the merriment.
Seizing the collar of my coat with both hands, she
drew my face down till my lips almost touched hers (I
was preparing to blush, and the Colonel shouted, "Come,
come, I shall tell his wife") : but then turning quickly
on her heel, she threw herself into a chair, exclaiming,
"J wouldn't mind, but the old man icould be jealous"
Addressing the Colonel, she added, "You needn't be
troubled, sir, no Yankee girl will kiss you till you change
" Give me that inducement, and I'll change them on
the spot," said the Colonel.
" No, no, Dave, 'twouldn't do," replied the planter ;
"the conversion wouldn't be genuwine — besides such
things arn't proper, except 'mong blood-relations — and
all the Yankees, you know are first-cousins."
The conversation then subsided into a more placid
mood, but lost none of its genial, good humor, lie-
freshments were soon set before us, and while partaking
of them I gathered from our hostess that she was a Ver-
mont country-girl, who, some three years before, had
been induced by libera! pay to come South as a teacher.
A sister accompanied her, and about a year after their ar-
rival, she married a neighboring planter. Wishing to be
near her sister, our hostess had also married and settled
down for life in that wild region. " I like the country
very well," she added ; " it's a great sight easier living
here than in Vermont ; but I do hate these lazy, shiftless,
^good-for-nothing niggers ; they are so slow, and so care-
less, and so dirty, that I sometimes think they will worry
the very life out of me. I do believe I'm the hardest
mistress in all the district."
I learned from her that a majority of the teachers at
the South are from the North, and principally, too, from
New England. Teaching is a very laborious employ-
ment there, far more so than with us, for the Southern-
ers have no methods like ours, and the same teacher
usually has to hear lessons in branches all the way from
Greek and Latin to the simple ABC. The South has
no system of public instruction; no common schools;
no means of placing within the reach of the sons and
daughters of the poor even the elements of knowl-
edge. While the children of the wealthy are most care-
fully educated, it is the policy of the ruling class.to keep
the great mass of the people in ignorance ; and so long
AMONG THE PINES.
as this policy continues, so long will that section be as
far behind the North as it now is, in all that constitutes
true prosperity and greatness.
The afternoon wore rapidly and pleasantly away in
the genial society of our wayside-friends. Politics were
discussed (our host was a Union man), the prospects of
the turpentine crop talked over, the recent news can-
vassed, the usual neighborly topics touched upon, and —
I hesitate to confess it — a considerable quantity of corn
whiskey disposed of, before the Colonel discovered, all
at once, that it was six o'clock, and we were still seven-
teen miles from the railway station. Arraying our-
selves again in our dried garments, we bade a hasty butj
regretful " good-bye" to our hospitable entertainers, and
once more took to the road.
The storm had cleared away, but the ground was
heavy with the recent rain, and our horses were sadly
jaded with the ride of the morning. We gave them the
reins, and, jogging on at their leisure, it was ten o'clock
at night before they landed us at the little hamlet of
W Station, in the state of North Carolina.
TIIE RAILWAY STATION.
THE RAILWAY STATION.
A laege hotel, or station-house, and about a dozen
Jog shanties made up the village. Two of these struc-
tures were negro-cabins ; two were small groceries, in
which the vilest alcoholic compounds were sold at a bit
(ten cents) a glass ; one was a lawyer's office, in which
was the post-office, and a justice's court, where, once
a month, the small offenders of the vicinity " settled up
their accounts one was a tailoring and clothing estab-
lishment, where breeches were patched at a dime a
stitch, and payment taken in tar and turpentine; and
the rest were private dwellings of one apartment, occu-
pied by the grocers, the tailor, the switch-tenders, the
postmaster, and the negro attaches of the > railroad.
The church and the school-house — the first buildings to
go up in a Northern village — I have omitted to enumer-
ate, because — they were not there.
One of the natives told me that the lawyer was a
" stuck-up critter ;" "he don't lire; he don't — he puts-up
at th' hotel." And the hotel ! Would Shakspeare, had
he have known it, have written of taking one's ease
at his inn ? It was a long, framed building, two stories
AMONG THE PINES.
high, with a piazza extending across the side and a
front door crowded as closely into one corner as the
width of the joist would permit. Under the piazza,
ranged along the wall, was a low bench, occupied by
about forty tin wash-basins and water-pails, and with
coarse, dirty crash towels suspended on rollers above it.
By the side of each of these towels hung a comb and a
brush, to which a lock of everybody's hair was clinging,
forming in the total a stock sufficient to establish any
barber in the wig business.
It was, as I have said, ten o'clock when we reached
the Station. Throwing the bridles of our horses over
the hitching-posts at the door, we at once made our
way to the bar-room. That apartment, which was in
the rear of the building, and communicated with by a
long, narrow passage, was filled almost to suffocation,
when we entered, by a cloud of tobacco smoke, the fumes
of bad whiskey, and a crowd of drunken chivalry, through
whom the Colonel with great difficulty elbowed his way
to the counter, where "mine host" and two assistants
were dispensing " liquid death," at the rate of ten cents
a glass, and of ten glasses a minute.
" Hello, Cunnel, how ar' ye," cried the red-faced
liquor-vender, as he caught sight of my companion, and,
rehnquishing his lucrative employment for a moment,
took the Colonel's hand, " how ar' ye ?"
"Quite well, thank you, Miles," said the Colonel,
with a certain patronizing air, " have you seen my man,
THE RAILWAY STATION.
"Moye, no ! What's up with him ?"
" He's run away with my horse, Firefly — I thought
he would have made for this station. At what time does
the next train go up ?"
" Wai, it's due half arter 'leven, but 'taint gin'rally
'long till nigh one."
The Colonel was turning to join me at the door,
when a well-dressed young man of very unsteady move-
ments, who was filling a glass at the counter, and star-
ing at him with a sort of dreamy amazement, stammered
out, " Moye — run — run a — way, zir ! that — k — kant be
— by G — . I know — him, zir — he's a — a friend of mine,
and — I'm — I'm d d if he ain't hon — honest."
" About as honest as the Yankees run," replied the
Colonel, " he's a d d thief, sir !"
" Look here — here, zir — don't — don't you — you zay
any — thing 'gainst — the Yankees. D d if — if I
aint — one of 'em mezelf — zir," said the fellow stagger-
ing toward the Colonel.
" I don't care what you are; you're drunk."
" You lie — you — you d d 'ris — 'ristocrat," was
the reply, as the inebriated gentleman aimed a blow,
with all his unsteady might, at the Colonel's face.
The South Carolinian stepped quickly aside, and dex-
terously threw his foot before the other, who — his blow
not meeting the expected resistance — was unable to re-
cover himself, and fell headlong to the floor. The plante"
turned on his heel, and was walking quietly away, when
the sharp report of a pistol sounded through the apart-
AMONG THE PINES.
ment, and a ball tore through the top of his boot,
and lodged in the wall within two feet of where I was
standing. With a spring, quick and sure as the tiger's,
the Colonel was on the drunken man. Wrenching away
the weapon, he seized the fellow by the neck-tie, and
drawing hirn up to nearly his full height, dashed him at
one throw to the other end of the room. Then raising
the revolver he coolly levelled it to fire !
But a dozen strong men were on him. The pistol
was out of his hand, and his arms were pinioned in an
instant ; while cries of " Fair play, sir !" " He's drunk !"
" Don't hit a man when he's down," and other like ex-
clamations, came from all sides.
"Give me fair play, you d d North Carolina
hounds," cried the Colonel, struggling violently to get
away, " and I'll fight the whole posse of you."
" One's 'nuff for yoa^ ye d d fire-eatin' 'ristocrat ;"
said a long, lean, bushy-haired, be-whiskered individual,
who was standing near the counter : " ef ye want to
fight, FIX 'tend to yer case to oust. Let him go, boys,"
he continued as he stepped toward the Colonel, and
parted the crowd that had gathered around him : " give
him the shootin'-iron,- and let's see ef he'll take a man
I saw serious trouble was impending, and stepping
forward, I said to the last speaker^" My friend, you
have no quarrel with this gentleman. He has treated
that man only as you would have done."
" P'raps thet's so ; but he's a d d hound of a
THE HAIL WAY STATION.
Secesherner thet's draggin' us all to h — U ; it'll du the
country good to git quit of one on 'em."
" Whatever his politics are, he's a gentleman, sir, and
has done you no harm — let me beg of you to let him
" Don't beg any thing for me, Mr. K growled
the Colonel through his barred teeth, "I'll fight the
d d corn-cracker, and his whole race, at once."
" Xo you won't, my friend. For the sake of those at
home you won't ;" I said, taking him by the arm, and
partly leading, partly forcing him, toward the door.
" And who in h — 11 ar you ?" asked the corn-cracker,
planting himself squarely in my way.
" I'm on the same side of politics with you, Union to
the core !" I replied.
" Ye ar ! Union ! Then give us yer fist," said he,
grasping me by the hand ; " by it does a feller good
to see a man dressed in yer does thet haint 'fraid to say
he's Union, so close to South Car'lina, tu, as this ar !
Come, hev a drink : come boys — all round — let's liquor !"
" Excuse me now, my dear fellow — some other time
I'll be glad to join you."
" Jest as ye say, but thar's my fist, enyhow."
He gave me another hearty shake of the hand, and the
crowd parting, I made my way with the Colonel out of
the room. We were followed by Miles, the landlord,
who, when we had reached the front of the entrance-
way, said, " I'm right sorry for this row, gentlemen ; the
boys will hev a time when they gets together." '
A^ONG THE PINES.
" Oh, never mind :" said the Colonel, who had recov-
covered his coolness ; " but why are all these people
" Thar's a barbacue cumin' off to-morrer on the camp-
ground, and the house is cram full."
" Is that so ?" said the Colonel, then turning to me
he added, " Move has taken the railroad somewhere else ;
I must get to a telegraph office at once, to head him off.
The nearest one is Wilmington. With all these rowdies
here, it will not do to leave the horses alone — will you
stay and keep an eye on them over to-morrow ?"
" Yes, I will, cheerfully."
" Thar's a mighty hard set, round har now, Cunnel,"
said the landlord ; " and the most peaceable get enter
scrapes ef'they hain't no friends. Hadn't ye better
show the gentleman some of your'n, 'fore you go ?"
" Yes, yes, I didn't think of that. Who is here ?"
"Wal, thar's Cunnel Taylor, Bill Barnes, Sam Hed-
dleson, Jo Shackelford, Andy Jones, Rob Brown, and
lots of others."
" Where's Andy Jones ?"
" Reckon he's turned in ; I'll see."
As the landlord opened a door which led from the
hall, the Colonel said to me, " Andy is a Union mar ;
but he'd fight to the- death for me."
" Sal !" called out the hotel keeper.
" Yas, massa, I'se har," was the answer from a slat*
ternly woman, awfully black in the face, who soon thrust
her head from the door-way.
THE RAILWAY STATION.
" Is Andy Jones har ?" asked Miles.
" Yas, massa, he'm turned in np thar on de table."
We followed the landlord into the apartment. It was
the dining-room of the hotel, and by the dim light which
came from a smoky fire on the hearth, I saw it contained
about a hundred people, who, wrapped in blankets, bed-
quilts and travelling-shawls, were disposed in all conceiv-
able attitudes, and scattered about on the hard floor
and tables, sleeping soundly. The room was a long, low
apartment — extending across the entire front of the
house — and had a wretched, squalid look. The fire,
which was tended by the negro- woman — (she had spread
a blanket on the floor, and was keeping a drowsy watch
over it for the night) — had been recently replenished
with green wood, and was throwing out thick volumes
of black smoke, which, mixing with the eflluvia from the
lungs of a hundred sleepers, made up an atmosphere
next to impossible to breathe. Not a window was open,
and not an aperture for ventilation could be seen !
Carefully avoiding the arms and legs of the recum-
bent chivalry, we picked our way, guided by the negro-
girl, to the corner of the room where the Unionist was
sleeping. Shaking him briskly by the shoulder, the
Colonel called out : " Andy ! Andy ! wake up !"
"What — what the d 1 is the matter ?" stammered
the slaeper, gradually opening his eyes, and raising
himself on one elbow, " Lord bless you, Cunnel, is that
you ? what in brought you har ?"
AMONG THE PINES.
" Business, Andy. Come, get up, I want to see you,
and I can't talk here."
The North Carolinian slowly rose, and throwing his
blanket over his shoulders, followed us from the room.
When we had reached the open air the Colonel intro-
duced me to his friend, who expressed surprise, and a
great deal of pleasure, at meeting a Northern Union
man in the Colonel's company.
"Look after our horses, now, Miles; Andy and I want
to talk," said the planter to the landlord, with ahout as
little ceremony as he would have shown to a negro.
I thought the white man did not exactly relish the
Colonel's manner, but saying, "All right, all right, sir,"
he took himself away.
. The night was raw and cold, but as all the rooms of
the hotel were occupied, either by sleepers or carousers,
we had no other alternative than to hold our conference
in the open air. Near the railway-track a light-wood fire
was blazing, and, obeying the promptings of the frosty-
atmosphere, we made our way to it. Lying on the
ground around it, divested of all clothing except a pair
of linsey trousers and a flannel shirt, and with their
naked feet close to its blaze — roasting at one extremity,
and freezing at the other — were several blacks, the
switch-tenders and woodmen of the Station — fast asleep.
How human beings could sleep in such circumstances
seemed a marvel, but further observation convinced me
that the Southern negro has a natural aptitude for that
exercise, and will, indeed, bear more exposure than any
THE KAIL WAY STATION.
other living thing. Nature in giving him such powers
of endurance, appears to have specially fitted him for the
life of hardship and privation to which he is born.
The fire-light enabled me to scan the appearance of
my new acquaintance. He was rather above the medi-
um height, squarely and somewhat stoutly built, and
had an easy and self-possessed, though rough and unpol-
ished manner. His foce, or so much of it as was visible
from underneath a thick mass of reddish gray hair, de-
noted a firm, decided character ; but there was a manly,
open, honest expression about it that gained one's confi-
dence in a moment. He wore a slouched hat and a suit
of the ordinary " sheep's-grey," cut in the "sack" fash-
ion, and hanging loosely about him. He seemed a
man who had made his own -way in the world, and I
subsequently learned that appearances did not belie him.
The son of a " poor white" man, with scarcely the first
rudiments of book-education, he had, by sterling worth,
natural ability, and great force of character, accumu-
lated a handsome property, and acquired a leading
position in his district. Though on "the wrong side
of politics," his personal popularity was so great that
for several successive years he had been elected to rep-
resent the county in the state legislature. The Colonel,
though opposed to him in politics — and party feeling at
the South runs so high that political opponents are sel-
dom personal friends — had, in the early part of tis
career, aided him by his endorsements ; and Andy had
not forgotten the service. It was easy to see that while
AMONG THE PINES.
two men could not be more unlike in character and ap-
pearance than my host and the North Carolinian, they
were warm and intimate friends.
" So, Moye has been raising h — 11 gin'rally, Colonel,"
said my new acquaintance after a time. " I'm not sur-
prised. 1 never did b'lieve in Yankee nigger-drivers —
sumhow it's agin natur' for a Northern man to go South-
ern principles quite so strong as Moye did."
" Winch route do you think he has taken ?" asked
" Wal, I reckon arter he tuk to the run, he made fur
the mountings. He know'd you'd head him on the
travelled routes; so he's put, I think, fur the Missussippe,
where he'll sell the horse and make North."
" I'll follow him," said the Colonel, " to the ends of
the earth. If it costs me five thousand dollars, I'll see
" Wal," replied Andy, laughing, "if he's gone North
youll need a extradition treaty to kotch him. South
Car'lina, I b'lieve, has set up fur a furrin country."
" That's true," said the Colonel, also laughing, " she's
"furrin" to the Yankees, but not to the old North
" D d if she haint," replied the North Carolinian,
" and now she's got out. % on our company, I swear she
must keep out. We'd as soon think of goin' to h — 11 in
summer time, as of jining partnership with her. Cun-
nel, you'r the only decent man in the State — d d if
you haint — and your politics are a'most bad 'nuff to
THE RAILWAY STATION.
spile a township. It allers seemed sort o'queei to me,
that a man with such a mighty good heart as your'n,
could be so short in the way of brains."
"Well, you're complimentary," replied the Colonel,
with the utmost good-nature, "but let's drop politics
we never could agree, you know. What shall I dc
about Moye ?"
" Go to Wilmington and telegraph all creation : wait
a day to har, then if you don't har, go home, hire a na-
tive overseer, and let Moye go to the d 1. Ef it'I
do you any good I'll go to Wilmington with you,
though I did mean to give you Secesherners a little h —
" No, Andy, I'll go alone. 'Twouldn't be patriotic
to take you away from the barbacue. You'd 1 spile
if you couldn't let off some gas soon."
"I do b'lieve I shud. Howsumdever, thar's nary a
thing I wouldn't do for you — you knows that."
"Yes, I do, and I wish you'd keep an eye on my
Yankee friend here, and see he don't get into trouble
with any of the boys — there'll be a hard set 'round, I
" Wal, I will," said Andy, " but all he's to do is to
keep his mouth shet."
" That seems easy enough," I replied, laughing.
A desultory conversation followed for about an hour
when the steam-whistle sounded, and the. up-train ar
rived. The Colonel got on board and bidding us
"good-night," went on to Wilmington. Andy then
AMONG THE FINES.
proposed we should look up sleeping accommodations.
It was useless to seek quarters at the hotel, but an
empty car was on the turn-out, and bribing one of the
negroes we got access to it, and were soon stretched at
full length on two of its hard-bottomed seats.
The camp-ground was about a mile from the station,
and pleasantly situated in a grove, near a stream of
water. It was in frequent use by the camp-meetings
of the Methodist denomination — which sect at the South
is partial to these rural religious gatherings. Scattered
over it, with an effort at regularity, were about forty
small but neat log cottages, thatched with the long leaves
of the turpentine pine, and chinked with branches of the
same tree. Each of these houses was floored with leaves
or straw, and large enough to afford sleeping accommoda-
tions for about ten persons, provided they spread their
bedding on the ground, and lay tolerably close together.
Interspersed among the cabins were about a dozen can-
vas tents which had been erected for this especial oc-
Nearly in the centre of the group of huts a rude sort
of scaffold, four or five feet high, and surrounded by a
rustic railing, served for the speaker's stand. It would
seat about a dozen persons, and was protected by a roof
of pine-boughs, interlaced together so as to keep off the
sun, without affording protection from the rain. In the
rear of this stand were two long tables, made of rough
240 AMONG THE PINES.
boards, and supported on stout joists, crossed on each
other in the form of the letter X. A canopy of green
leaves shaded the grounds, ^nd the whole grove, which
was perfectly free from underbrush, was carpeted with
the soft, brown tassels of the pine.
Being fatigued with the ride of the previous day, I
did not awake till the morning was far advanced, and
it was nearly ten o'clock when Andy and I took our way
to the camp-ground. Avoiding the usual route, we
walked on through the forest. It was mid-winter, and
vegetation lay dead all around us, awaiting the time
when spring should breathe into it the breath of life,
and make it a living thing. There was silence and rest
in the deep woods. The birds were away on their win-
ter wanderings ; the leaves hung motionless on the tall
trees, and nature seemed resting from her ceaseless labors,
and listening to the soft music of the little stream which
sung a cheerful song as it rambled on over the roots and
fallen branches that blocked its way. Soon a distant
murmur arose, and w^e had not proceeded far before as
many sounds as were heard at Babel made a strange
concert about our ears. The lowing of the ox, the
neighing of the horse, and the deep braying of another
animal, mingled with a thousand human voices, came
through the woods. But above and over all rose the
stentorian tones of the stump speaker,
" As he trod the shaky platform,
With the sweat upon his brow."
About a thousand persons were already assembled on
the ground, and a more motley gathering I never wit-
nessed. All sorts of costumes and all classes of people
were there ; but the genuine back-woods corn-crackers
composed the majority of the assemblage. As might be
expected much the larger portion of the audience were
men, still I saw some women and not a few children *,
many of the country people having taken advantage of
the occasion to give their families a holiday. Some oc-
cupied benches in front of the stand, though a larger
number were seated around in groups, within hearing of
the speaker, but paying very little attention to what he
was saying. A few were whittling — a few pitching
quoits, or playing leap-frog, and quite a number were
having a quiet game of whist, euchre or " seven-up."
The speaker was a well-dressed, gentlemanly-looking
man and a tolerably good orator. He seemed accus-
tomed to addressing a jury, for he displayed all the adroit-
ness in handling his subject, and in appealing to the
prejudices of his hearers, that we see in successful spe-
cial pleaders. But he overshot his mark. To nine out of
ten of his audience, his words and similes, though cor-
rect, and sometimes beautiful, were as unintelligible as
the dead languages. He advocated immediate, uncondi-
tional secession ; and I thought from the applause which
met his remarks, whenever he seemed to make himself
understood, that the large majority of those present
were of the same way of thinking.
He was succeeded by a heavy-browed, middle-aged
man, slightly bent, and with hair a little turned to gray,
AMONG THE PINES.
but still hale, athletic, and in the prime and vigor of
manhood. His pantaloons and waistcoat were of the com-
mon homespun, and he used, now and then, a word ot
the country dialect, but as a stump-speaker he was in-
finitely superior to the more polished orator who had
He, too, advocated secession, as a right and a duty —
separation, now and forever, from the dirt-eating, money-
loving Yankees, who, he was ashamed to say, had the
same ancestry, and worshipped the same God, as himself.
He took the bold ground that slavery is a curse to both
the black and the white, but that it was forced upon
this generation before its birth, by these same greedy,
grasping Yankees, who would sell not only the bones
and sinews of their fellow men, but — worse than that —
their own souls, for gold. It was forced upon them
without their consent, and now that it had become inter-
woven with all their social life, and was a necessity of
their very existence, the hypocritical Yankees would
take it from them, because, forsooth, it is a sin and a
wrong — as if they had to bear its responsibility, or the
South could not settle its own affairs with its Maker !
" Slavery is now," he continued, u indispensable to us.
"Without it, cotton, rice, and sugar will cease to grow,
and the South will starve. What if it works abuses ?
What if the black, at times* is overburdened, and his
wife and daughters ,debauched ? Man is not perfect
anywhere — there are wrongs in every society. It is for
each one to give his account, in such matters, to his God.
But in this are we worse than they? Are there not
abuses in society at the North? Are not their laborers
overworked ? "While sin here hides itself under cover of
the night, does it not there stalk abroad at noon-day?
If the wives and daughters of blacks are debauched here,
are not the wives and daughters of whites debauched
there ? and will not a Yankee barter away the chastity
of his own mother for a dirty dollar ? Who fill our
brothels? Yankee women! Who load our peniten-
tiaries, crowd our whipping-posts, debauch our slaves,
and cheat and defraud us all ? Yankee men ! And I
say unto you, fellow-citizens," and here the speaker's
form seemed to dilate with the wild enthusiasm which
possessed him, 'come out from among them; be ye
separate, and touch not the unclean thing,' and thus
saith the Lord God of Hosts, who will guide you, and
lead you, if need be, to battle and to victory!"
A perfect storm of applause followed. The assem-
blage rose, and one long, wild shout rent the old wooda,
and made the tall trees tremble. It was some minutes
before the uproar subsided ; when it did, a voice near
the speaker's stand called out, " Andy Jones!" The call
was at once echoed by another voice, and soon a general
shout for "Andy!" "Union Andy !" "Bully Andy!" went
up from the same crowd which a moment before had so
wildly applauded the secession speaker.
Andy rose from where he was seated beside me, and
quietly ascended the steps of the platform. Removing
his hat, and passing to his mouth a huge quid of tobacco
AMONG- THE PINES.
from a tin box in his pantaloons-pocket, he made several
rapid strides up and down the speaker's stand, and then
turned squarely to the audience.
The reader has noticed a tiger pacing up and down in
his cage, with his eyes riveted on the human faces before
him. He has observed how he will single out some indi-
vidual, and finally stopping short in his rounds, turn on
him with a look of such intense ferocity as makes a man's
blood stand still, and his very breath come thick and
hard, as he momentarily expects the beast will tear away
the bars of the cage and leap forth on the obnoxious per-
son. Now, Andy's fine, open, manly face had nothing
of the tiger in it, but, for a moment, I could not divest
myself of the impression, as he halted in his walk up
and down the stage, and turned full and square on the
previous speaker — who had taken a seat among the audi-
ence near me — that he was about to spring upon him.
Riveting his eye on the man's face, he at last slowly said :
"A man stands har and quotes Scriptur agin his
feller man, and forgets that 'God made of one blood all
nations that dwell on the face of the 'arth.' A man
stands har and calls his brother a thief, and his mother
a harlot, and axes us to go his doctrin's ! I don't
mean his brother in the Scriptur sense, nor his mother
in a fig' rative sense, but I mean the brother of his own
blood, and the mother thatlfore him; for he, gentlemen
(and he pointed his finger directly at the recent speaker,
while his words came slow and heavy with intense scorn),
he is a Yankee ! And now, I say, gentlemen, d — n sech
THE BABBACUE. 24:5
doctrin's ; d n sech principles, and d n the man
that's got a soul so black as to utter 'em !"
A breathless silence fell on the assemblage, while the
person alluded to sprang to his feet, his face on fire, and
his voice thick and broken with intense rage, as he
yelled out : " Andy Jones, by , you shall answer for
" Sartin," said Andy, coolly inserting his thumbs in
the armholes of his wa'istcoat ; " enywhar you likes —
har — now — ef 'greeable to you."
" I've no weapon here, sir, but I'll give you a chance
mighty sudden," was the fierce reply.
" Suit yourself," said Andy, with perfect imperturba-
bility; "but as you haint jest ready, s'pose you set
down, and har me tell 'bout your relations : they're a
right decent set — them as I knows — and I'll swar
they're 'shamed of you."
A buzz went through the crowd, and a dozen voices
called out : " Be civil, Andy"— " Let him blow"—" Shut
up" — "Go in, Jones" — with other like elegant excla-
A few of his friends took the aggrieved gentleman
aside, and, soon quieting him, restored order.
" Wal, gentlemen," resumed Andy, " all on you know
whar I was raised — over thar in South Car'lina. I'm
sorry to say it, but it's true. And you all know my
father was a pore man, who couldn't give his boys no
chance — and ef he could, thar warn't no schules in the
district — so we couldn't hev got no book-larning ef we'd
246 AMONG TITE PINES.
been a minded to. Wal, the next plantation to whar
we lived was old Gunnel J 's, the father of this cun-
nel. He was a d d old nullifier, jest like his son —
but not half so decent a man. Wal, on his plantation
was an old nigger called Uncle Pomp, who'd sumhow
larned to read. He was a mighty good nigger, and he'd
hev been in heaven long afore now ef the Lord hadn't r
had sum good use for him down har — but he'll be thar
yet a d d sight sooner than sum on us white folks —
that's sartin. Wal, as I was saying, Pomp could read,
and when I was 'bout sixteen, and had never seen the
inside of a book, the old darky said to me one day — he
was old then, and that was thirty years ago — wal, he
said to me, 'Andy, chile, ye orter larn to read, 'twill
be ob use to ye when you'se grow'd up, and it moight
make you a good and 'spected man — now, come to ole
Pomp's cabin, and he'll larn you, Andy, chile.' Wal, I
reckon I went. He'd nothin' but a Bible and Watts'
Hymns ; but we used to stay thar all the long winter
evenin's, and by the light o' the fire — we war both so
durned pore we couldn't raise a candle atween us — wal,
by the light o' the fire he larned me, and fore long I
could spell right smart.
" Now, jest think on that, gentlemen. I, a white
boy, and, 'cordin' to the Declaration of Independence,
with jest as good blood in me as the old Cunnel had in
him, bein' larned to read by an old slave, and that old
slave a'most worked to death, and takin' his nights,
when he orter hev been a restin' his old bones, to larn
me ! I'm d d if lie don't get to heaven for that one
thing, if for nothin' else.
" Wal, you all know the rest — how, when I'd grow'd
up, I settled har, in the old North State, and how the
young Cunnel backed my paper, and set me a runnin' at
turpentining. P'raps you don't think this has much to
do with the Yankees, but it has a durned sight, as ye'll
see rather sudden. Wal, arter a while, when I'd got a
little forehanded, I begun shipping my truck to York^
and Bostin'; and at last my Yankee factor, he come out
har, inter* the back woods, to see me, *and says he,
* Jones, come North and take a look at us.' I'd sort o'
took to him. I'd lots o' dealin's with him afore ever
I seed him, and I allers found him straight as a shingle.
Wal, I went North, and he took me round, and showed
me how the Yankees does things. Afore I know'd him,
I allers thought — as p'raps most on you do — that the
Yankees war a sort o' cross atween the devil and a Jew;
but how do you s'pose I found 'em ? I found that they
sent the pore man's children to schule, fkee — and that
the schule-houses war a d d sight thicker than the
bugs in Miles Privett's beds ! and that's sayin' a heap,
for ef eny on you kin sleep in his house, excep' he takes
to the soft side of the floor, I'm d d. Yas, the pore
man's children are larned thar, feee ! — all on 'em — and
they've jest so good a chance as the sons of the rich
man ! Now, arter that, do you think that I — as got all
my schulein, from an old slave, by the light of a bor-
rored pine-knot — der you think that Zkin say any thing
AMONG- THE FINES.
agin the Yankees? PVaps they do steal — though I
doant know it — p'r'aps they do debauch thar wives and
darters, and sell thar mothers' vartue for dollars — but,
ef they do, I'm d d if they doant send pore children
to schule — and that's more'n we do — and let me tell you
until we do thet, we must expec' they'll be cuter and
smarter nor we are.
"This gentleman, too, my friends, who's been a givm'
rsech a hard settin' down ter his own relation, arter
they've broughten him up, and given him sech a schulein
for nuthin', he says the Yankees want to interfere with
our niggers. Now, thet haint so, and they couldn't ef
they would, 'case it's agin the Constertution. And
they stand on the Constertution a durned sight solider
nor we do. Didn't thar big gun — Daniel Webster —
didn't he make mince-meat of South Car'lina Hayne on
thet ar' subjec' ? But I tell you they haint a mind ter
meddle with the niggers ; they're a goin' to let us go ter
h — 1 our own way, and we're goin' thar mighty fast, or
I haint read the last census."
"PVaps you haint heerd on the aVlish'ners, Andy?"
cried a voice from among the audience.
" Wal, I reckon I hev," responded the orator. "I've
heerd on 'em, and seed 'em, too. When I was North I
went to one on thar conventions, and I'll tell you how
they look. They've all long, wimmin's har, and thin,
shet lips, with big, bawlin' mouths, and long, lean,
tommerhawk faces, as white as vargin dip — and they all
talk through the nose (giving a specimen), and they
all look for all the world jest like the South Car'lina fire-
eaters — and they are as near like 'em as two peas, excep'
they don't swar quite so bad, but they make up for
thet in prayin' — and prayin' too much, I reckon, when a
man's a d d hippercrit, is 'bout as bad as swearin'.
But, I tell you, the decent folks up North haint ablish-
eners. They look on 'em jest as we do on mad dogs,
the itch, or the niir^er traders.
" Now, 'bout this secession bis'ness — though 'taint no
use to talk on that subjec', 'case this state never'll se-
cede — South Car'lina has done it, and I'm raather glad
she has, for though I was born thar — and say it as
hadn't orter say it — she orter hey gone to h — 1 long ago,
and now she's got thar, why — let her stay! But, 'bout
thet bis'ness, I'll tell you a story.
"I know'd an old gentleman once by the name of
Uncle Sam, and he'd a heap of sons. They war all likely
boys — but strange ter tell, though they'd all the same
mother, and she was a white woman, 'bout half on 'em
war colored — not black, but sorter half-and-half. Now,
the white sons war well-behaved, industrious, hard-
svorkin' boys, who got 'long well, edicated thar chil-
dren, and allers treated the old man decently ; but the
mulatter fellers war a pesky set — though some on 'em
war better nor others. They wouldn't work, but set up
for airystocracy — rode in kerriges, kept fast horses, bet
high, and chawed tobaccer like the devil. Wal, the re-
sult was, they got out at the elbows, and 'case they
warn't gettin' 'long quite so fast as the white 'uns—
AMONG THE PINES.
though that war all thar own fault — they got jealous,
and one on 'em who was blacker nor all the rest — a
little feller, but terrible big on braggin' — he packed up
his truck one night, and left the old man's house, snd
swore he'd never come back. He tried to make the
other mulatters go with him, but they put thar fingers
to thar nose, and says they, 'No you doant.' I was in
favor of lettin' on him stay out in the cold, but the old
man was a bernevolent old critter, and so he says : c Now,
sonny, you jest come back and behave yourself, and I'll
forgive you all your old pranks, and treat you jest as 1
allers used ter ; but, ef you wont, why — I'll make you,
"Now, gentlemen, thet quarrelsome, oneasy, ongrateful,
tobaccer-chawin', hoss-racin', high-bettin', big-braggin',
nigger-stealin', wimmin-whippin', yaller son of the devil,
is South Car'lina, and ef she doant come back and be-
have herself in futur', I'm d d ef she wont be ploughed
with fire, and sowed with salt, and Andy Jones will help
ter do it."
The speaker was frequently interrupted in the course
of his remarks by uproarious applause — but as he closed
and descended from the platform, the crowd sent up
cheer after cheer, and a dozen strong men, making a seat
of their arms, lifted him from the ground and bore him off
to the head of the table, where dinner was in waiting.
The whole of the large assemblage then fell to eating.
The dinner was made up of the barbacued beef and the
usual mixture of viands found on a planter's table, with
water from the little brook hard by, and a plentiful
supply of corn-whiskey. (The latter beverage had, I
thought, been subjected to the rite of immersion, for it
tasted wonderfully of water.)
Songs an d| speeches were intermingled with the masti-
cating exercises, and the whole company was soon in
the best of humor.
During the meal I was introduced by Andy to a large
number of the " natives," he taking special pains to tell
each one that I was a Yankee, and a Union man, but al-
ways adding, as if to conciliate all parties, that I also
was a guest and a friend of his very particular friend,
"thet'd d seceshener, Gunnel J
Before we left the table, the secession orator happen-
ing near where we were seated, Andy rose from his seat,
and, extending his hand to him, said : " Tom, you think
I 'suited you ; p'r'aps I did, but you 'suited my Yankee
friend har, and your own relation, and I hed to take it
up, jest for the looks o' the thing. Come, there's my
hand ; I'll fight you ef you want ter, or we'll say no more
'bout it — jest as you like."
" Say no more about it, Andy," said the gentleman,
very cordially; "let's drink and be friends."
They drank a glass of whiskey together, and then
leaving the table, proceeded to where the ox had been
barbacued, to show me how cooking on a large scale is
done at the South.
In a pit about eight feet deep, twenty feet long, and
ten feet wide, laid up on the sides with stones, a fire of
AMONG THE PINES.
hickory had been made, over which, after the wood had
burned down to coals, a whole ox, divested of its hide
and entrails, had been suspended on an enormous spit.
Being turned often in the process of cooking, the beef
had finally been "done brown." It was then cut up
and served on the table, and I must say, for the credit
of Southern cookery, that it made as delicious eating as
any meat I ever tasted.
I had then been away from my charge — the Colonel's
horses — as long as seemed to be prudent. I said as *
much to Andy, when he proposed to return with me,
and, turning good-humoredly to his reconciled friend, he
said: "Now, Tom, no secession talk while I'm off."
"Nary a word," said "Tom," and we left.
The horses had been well fed by the negro whom I
had left in charge of them, but had not been groomed.
Seeing that, Andy stripped off his coat, and setting the
black at work on one, with a handful of straw and pine
leaves, commenced operations on the other, whose hair
was soon as smooth and glossy as if it had been rubbed
by an English groom.
The remainder of the day passed without incident
till eleven at night, when the Colonel returned from
Moye had not been seen or heard of, and the Colonel's
trip was fruitless. While at Wilmington he sent tele-
grams, directing the overseer's arrest, to the various
large cities of the South, and then decided to return
home, make arrangements preliminary to a protracted
absence from the plantation, and proceed at once to
Charleston, where he would await replies to his dis-
patches. Andy agreed with him in the opinion that
Moye, in his weak state of health, would not take an
overland route to the free states, but would endeavor
to reach some town on the Mississippi, where he might
dispose of the horse, and secure a passage up the river.
As no time was to be lost, we decided to return to
the plantation on the following morning. Accordingly,
with the first streak of day we bade " good-bye" to our
Union friend, and started homeward.
No incident worthy of mention occurred on the way,
till about ten o'clock, when we arrived at the house of
the Yankee schoolmistress, where we had been so hos-
pitably entertained two days before. The lady received
us with great cordiality, forced upon us a lunch to serve
our hunger on the road, and when we parted, enjoined
on me to leave the South at the earliest possible mo-
AMONG THE PINES.
ment. She was satisfied it would not for a much longer
time be safe quarters for a man professing Union senti-
ments. Not withstanding the strong manifestations of
loyalty I had observed among the people, I was con-
vinced the advice of my pretty " countrywoman" was
judicious, and I determined to be governed by it.
Our horses, unaccustomed to lengthy journeys, had
not entirely recovered from the fatigues of their previ-
ous travel, and we did not reach our destination till an
hour after dark. We were most cordially welcomed by
Madam P , who soon set before us a hot supper,
which, as we were jaded by the long ride, and had fast-
ed for twelve hours, on bacon-sandwiches and cold hoe-
cake, was the one thing needful to us.
While seated at the table the Colonel asked :
"Has every thing gone right, Alice, since we left
" Every thing," replied the lady, " except" — and she
hesitated, as if she dreaded the effect of the news ; " ex-
cept that Julie and her child have gone."
"Gone!" exclaimed my host; "gone where?"
"I don't know. We have searched everywhere, but
have found no clue to them. The morning you left
Sam set Jule at work among the pines ; she tried hard,
but could not do a full task, and at night was taken to
the cabin to be whipped. I heard of it, and forbade it.
It did not seem to me that she ought to be punished for
not doing what she had not strength to do. When re-
leased from the cabin, she came and thanked me for
havino- interfered for her, and talked with me awhile.
She cried and took on fearfully about Sam, and was
afraid you would punish her when you returned. I
promised you would not, and she left me seeming more
cheerful. I supposed she would go directly home after
getting her child from the nurse's quarters ; but it ap-
pears she went to Pompey's, where she staid till after
ten o'clock. Neither she nor the child have been seen
" Did you get no trace of her in the morning ?"
" Yes, but soon lost it. When she did not appear at
work, Sam went to her cabin to learn the cause, and
found the door open, and her bed undisturbed. She had
not slept there. Knowing that Sandy had returned, I
sent for him, and, with Jim and his dog, he commenced
a search. The dog tracked her directly from Pompey'g
cabin to the bank of the run near the lower still. There
all trace of her disappeared. We dragged the stream,
but discovered nothing. Jim and Sandy then scoured
the woods for miles in all directions, but the hound could
not recover the trail. I hope otherwise, but I fear some
evil has befallen her."
" Oh, no ! there's no fear of that," said the Colonel :
" she is smart : she waded up the run far enough to baf-
fle the dog, and then made for the swamp. That is
why you lost her tracks at the stream. Rely upon it,
I am right : but she shall not escape me."
WV shortly afterward adjourned to the library. Af-
ter being seated there a while the Colonel, rising quickly,
256 AMONG THE PINKS.
as if a sudden thought had struck him, sent for the old
The old negro soon appeared, hat in hand, and taking
a stand near the door, made a respectful bow to each
one of us. s
" Take a chair, Pompey," said Madam P , kindly.
The black meekly seated himself, when the Colonel
asked : " Well, Pomp, what do you know about Jule's
" Muffin', massa — I shures you, nuffin'. De pore chile
say nuffin to ole Pomp 'bout dat."
" What did she say ?"
" Wal, you see, massa, de night arter you gwo 'way,
and arter she'd worked hard in de brush all de day, and
been a strung up in de ole cabin fur to be whipped, she
come ter me wid har baby in har arms, all a-faint and
a-tired, and har pore heart clean broke, and she say dat
she'm jess ready ter drop down and die. Den I tries ter
comfut har, massa ; I takes har up from de floor, and I
say ter har dat de good Lord He pity har — dat He woant
bruise de broken reed, and woant put no more on her
dan she kin b'ar — dat He'd touch you' heart, and I
toled har you'se a good, kine heart at de bottom, massa
— and I knows it, 'case I toted you 'fore you could gwo,
and when you's a bery little chile, not no great sight
bigger'n har'n, you'd put your little arms round ole
Pomp's neck, and say dat when you war grow'd up
you'd be bery kine ter de pore brack folks, and not leff
'em be 'bused like dey war in dem days."
" N*ever mind what you said," interrupted the Colonel,
a little impatiently, but showing no displeasure; "what
did she say ?"
"Wal, massa, she tuk on bery hard 'bout Sam, and
axed me ef I raaily reckoned de Lord had forgiVn him,
and took'n him ter Heself, and gibin' him one o' dem
hous'n up dar, in de sky. I toled her dat I Jcnovfd it ;
but she say it didn't 'pear so ter har, 'case Sam had a
been wid har out dar in de woods, all fru de day ; dat
she'd a seed him, massa, and dough he handn't a said
nuffin', he'd lukd at har wid sech a sorry, grebed Ink,
dat it gwo clean fru har heart, till she'd no strength leff,
and fall down on de ground a'most dead. Den she say
big Sam come 'long and fine har dar, and struck har
great, heaby blows wid de big whip !"
" The brute !" exclaimed the Colonel, rising from his
chair, and pacing rapidly up and down the room.
" But pYaps he warn't so much ter blame, massa,"
continued the old negro, in a deprecatory tone ; " may-
be he 'spose she war shifkin' de work. Waij den she say
she know'd nuffin' more, till byme-by, when she come
to, and fine big Sam dar, and he struck har agin, and
make har gwo ter de work ; and she did gwo, but she
feel like as ef she'd die.' I toled har de good ma'am
wudn't leff big Sam 'buse har no more 'fore you cum
hum, and dat you'd hab 'passion on har, and not leff har
gwo out in de woods, but put har 'mong de nusses, like
"Den she say it 'twarn't de work dat trubble har — ■
AMONG THE PINES.
dat she orter'work, and orter be 'bused, 'case she'd been
bad, beiy bad. All she axed war dat Sam would forgib
har, and cum to har in de oder worle, and tell har so.
Den she cried, and tuk on awful ; but de good Lord,
massa, dat am so bery kine ter de bery wuss sinners, He
put de words inter my mouf, aifd I tink dey gib har
comfut, fur she say dat it sort o' 'peared to har den dat
Sam would forgib har, and take har inter his house up^
dar, and she warn't afeard ter die no more.
" Den she takes up de chile and gwo 'way, 'pearin'
sort o' happy, and more cheerful like dan I'd a seed har
eber sense pore Sam war shot."
My host was sensibly affected by the old man's* simple
tale, but continued pacing up and down the room, and
said nothing. .
" It's plain to me, Colonel," I remarked, as Pompey
concluded, " she has drowned herself and the child — the
dog lost the scent at the creek."
" Oh, no !" he replied; "I think not. I never heard
of a negro committing suicide — they've not the courage
to do it."
" I fear she has, David," said the lady. " The thought
of going to Sam has led her to it ; yet, we dragged the
run, and found nothing. What do you think about it,
"I dunno, ma'am, but I'se afeard of dat; and now
dat I tinks ob it, I'se afeard dat what I tole har put har
up ter it," replied the old preacher, bursting into tears.
"She 'peared so happy like, when I say she'd be 'long
wid Sam in de oder worle, dat Pse afeard she's a gone
and done it wid liar own hands. I tole har, too, dat de
Lord would oberlook good many tings dat pore sinners
do when dey can't help 'emselfs — and it make har do it !
Oh ! it make har do it !" and the old black buried his face
in his hands, and wept bitterly.
" Don't feel so, Pomp," said his master, very kindly.
M You did the best you could ; no one blames you."
" I knows you doant, massa — I knows you doant, and
you'se bery good nottur — but oh ! massa, de Lord!" and
his body swayed to and fro w r ith the great grief; "I
fears de Lord do, massa, for I'se sent har ter Him wid
har own blood, and de blood of dat pore innercent chile,
on har hands. Oh, I fears de Lord neber'll forgib me —
neber'll forgib me for datP
" He will, my good Pomp — He will!" said the Colonel,
laying his hand tenderly on the old man's shoulder.
" The Lord will forgive you, for the sake of the Chris-
tian example you've set your master, if for nothing else;"
and here the proud, strong man's feelings overpowering
him, his tears fell in great drops on the breast of the
old slave, as they had fallen there in his childhood.
Such scenes are not for the eye of a stranger, and
turning away, I left the room.
AMONG THE PINES.
"ONE MORE UNFORTUNATE."
The family met at the breakfast-table at the usual
hour on the following morning ; but I noticed that Jim
was not in his accustomed place behind the Colonel's
chair. That gentleman exhibited his usual good spirits,
but Madam P looked sad and anxious, and Zhad
not forgotten the scene of the previous evening.
"While we were seated at the meal, the negro Junius
hastily entered the room, and in an excited manner ex-
" Oh, massa, massa, you muss cum ter de cabin — Jim
hab draw'd his knife, and he swar he'll kill de fuss 'un
dat touch him !"
"He does, does he!" said his master, springing from
his seat, and abruptly leaving the apartment.
Remembering the fierce burst of passion I had seen in
the negro, and fearing there was danger a-foot, I rose to
follow, saying, as I did so :
" Madam, cannot you prevent this ?"
" I cannot, sir ; I have already done all I can. Go and
try to pacify the Colonel — Jim will die before he'll be
" ONE MOKE UNFORTUNATE." ^61
Jim was standing at tlie farther end of the old cabin.,
with his back to the wall, and the large spring knife in
his hand. Some half-dozen negroes were in the centre
of the room, apparently cowed by his fierce and desper-
ate looks, and his master was within a few feet of him.
" I tell you, Gunnel," cried the negro, as I entered,
"you touch me at your peril!"
"You d d nigger, do you dare to speak so to me?"
said his master, taking a step toward him.
The knife rose in the air, and the black, in a cool,
sneering tone, replied: " Say your prayers 'fore you come
nigher, for, so help me God, you'm a dead man !"
I laid my hand on the Colonel's arm, to draw him
back, saying, as I did so: "There's danger in him! I
knoio it. Let him go, and he shall ask your pardon."
"I shan't ax his pardon," cried the black; "leff him
an' me be, sir ; we'll fix dis ourselfs."
u Don't interfere, Mr. K ," said my host, with per-
fect coolness, but with a face pallid with rage. " Let me
govern my own plantation."
"As you say, sir," I replied, stepping back a few
paces ; " but I warn you — there is danger in him !"
Taking no notice of my remark, the Colonel turning
to the trembling negroes, said : " One of you go to the
house and bring my pistols."
"You kin shoot me, ef you likes," said Jim, with a
fierce, grim smile ; " but I'll take you ter h — 1 wid me,
shore. You knows we wont stand a blow !"
The Colonel, at the allusion to their relationship,
AMONG THE PINES.
started as if shot, and turning furiously on the negro,
yelled out: "I'll shoot you for that, you d d nigger,
" It 'pears ter me, Gunnel, ye've hed 'bout nuff shoot-
in' round har, lately ; better stop thet sort o' bis'ness ;
it moight give ye a sore throat," said the long, lean,
loose-jointed stump-speaker of the previous Sunday, as
he entered the cabin and strode directly up to my
" What brought you here, you d d insolent hound ?"
cried the Colonel, turning fiercely on the new-comer.
" Wal, I cum ter du ye a naaboorly turn — I've kotched
two on yer niggers down ter my still, and I want ye
ter take 'em 'way," returned the corn-cracker, with the
" Two of my niggers !" exclaimed the Colonel, per-
ceptibly moderating his tone — "which ones?"
" A yaller gal, and a chile."
"I thank you, Barnes; excuse my hard words — I was
"All right, Cunnel; say no more 'bout thet. Will
ye send fur 'em? I'd hev fotched 'em 'long, but my
waggin's off jest now."
"Yes, I'll send at once. Have you got them safe?"
" Safe ? I reckon so ! Kotched 'em last night, arter
dark, and they've kept right still ever sense, I 'sure ye —
but th' gal holds on ter th' young 'un ter kill — we cudn't
get it 'way no how."
" How did you catch them?"
" ONE MORE UNFORTUNATE." * 263
44 They got 'gainst my turpenthne raft — the curren'
driv 'em clown, I s'pose."
M What ! are they dead ?"
"Dead? deader'n drownded rats !" rephed the native,
"My God! drowned herself and her child!" exclaim-
ed the Colonel, with deep emotion.
" It is terrible, my friend. Come, let us go to them,
at once," I said, laying my hand on his arm, and draw-
ing him unresistingly away
A pair of mules was speedily harnessed to a large
turpentine wagon, and the horses we had ridden the day
before were soon at the door. When the Colonel,
who had been closeted for a few minutes with Madam
P , came out of the house, we mounted, and rode off
with the " corn-cracker."
The native's farm was located on the stream which
watered my friend's plantation, and was about ten miles
distant. Taking a by-road which led to it through the
woods, we rode rapidly on in advance of the wagon.
" Sort o' likely gal, thet, warn't she ?" remarked the
turpentine-maker, after a while.
"Yes, she was," rephed the Colonel, in a half-ab-
stracted manner ; " very likely."
" Kill harself 'case har man war shot by thet han'som
overseer uv your n ? M
" Not altogether for that, I reckon," replied my host ;
" I fear the main reason was her being put at field-work,
and abused by the driver."
" Thet comes uv not lookin' arter things yerself, Cun-
AMONG THE PIKES.
nel. I tend ter my niggers parsonally, and they keer a
durned sigLt more fur this world then fur kingdom-cum.
Ye cudn't hire 'em ter kill 'emselves fur no price."
"Well," replied the Colonel, in a low tone, "I did
look after her. I put her at full field-work, myself!"
a By !" cried the native, reining his horse to a
dead stop, and speaking in an excited manner : " I doant
b'lieve it — 'taint 'tall like ye — yer a d d seceshener;
thet comes uv yer bringin'-up — but yeVe a soul bigger'n
a meetin'-house, and ye cudn't hev put thet slim, weak-
ly gal inter th' woods, no how !"
The Colonel and I instinctively halted our horses, as
the " corn-cracker" stopped his, and were then standing
abreast of him in the road.
"It's true, Barnes," said my host, in a voice that
showed deep dejection ; " I did do it !"
"May God Almighty forgive ye, Cunnel," said the
native, starting his horse forward ; "Zwudn't hev dun
it fur all yer niggers, by ."
The Colonel made no reply, and we rode on the rest
of the way in silence.
The road was a mere wagon-track through the
trees, and it being but little travelled, and # encumbered
with the roots and stumps of the pine, our progress was
slow, and we were nearly two hours in reaching the
plantation of the native.
The corn-cracker's house — a low, unpainted wooden
building — stood near the little stream, and in the centre
of a cleared plot of some ten acres, v This plot was bur-
"one more unfortunate."
rounded by a post-and-rail fence, and in its front portion
was a garden, which grew a sufficient supply of vege-
tables to serve a family of twenty persons. In the rear,
and at the sides of the dwelling, were about seven acres,
devoted mainly to corn and potatoes. In one corner of
the lot were three tidy-looking negro-houses, and close
beside them I noticed a low shed, near which a large
quantity of the stalks of the tall, white corn, common
to that section, was stacked in the New England fashion.
Browsing on the corn-stalks were three sleek, well-kept
milch cows, and a goat.
About four hundred yards from the farmer's house,
and on the bank of the little run, which there was
quite wide and deep, stood a turpentine distillery ; and
around it were scattered a large number of rosin and
turpentine barrels, some filled and some empty. A short
distance higher up, and far enough from the " still" to be
safe in the event of a fire, was a long, low, wooden shed,
covered with rough, unjointed boards, placed upright,
and unbattened. This was the " spirit-house," used for
the storage of the spirits of turpentine when barrelled
for market, and awaiting shipment. In the creek, and
filling nearly one-half of the channel in front of the
spirit-shed, was a raft of pine timber, on which were
laden some two hundred barrels of rosin. On such rude
conveyances the turpentine-maker sent his produce to
Conwayboro'. There the timber-raft was sold to my way-
side friend, Captain B , and its freight shipped on
board vessel for New York.
AMONG THE PINES.
Two "prime* 1 negro men, dressed in the usual cos-
tume, were " tending the still ;" and a negro woman, as
stout and strong as the men, and clad in a short, loose,
linsey gown, from beneath which peeped out a pair of
coarse leggins, was adjusting a long wooden trough,
which conveyed the liquid rosin from the "still" to a
deep excavation in the earth, at a short distance. In
the pit was a quantity of rosin sufficient to fill a thousand
"Here, Bill," said Barnes to one of the negro men, as
•we pulled up at the distillery, " put these critters up,
and give 'em sum oats, and when they've cooled off a
bit, water 'em."
" Yas, yas, massa," replied the negro, springing nim-
bly forward, and taking the horses by the bridles, " an'
rub 'em down, massa?"
"Yas, rub 'em down right smart," replied the corn-
cracker; then turning to me, as we dismounted, he said:
"Stranger, thet's th' sort o' niggers fur ye; all uv mine
ar' jess like him — smart anclf lively as kittens."
" He does seem to go about his work cheerfully," I
" Cheerfully ! d d ef he doant — all on 'em du !
They like me better'n thar own young 'uns, an' it's 'cause
I use 'em like human bein's ;" and he looked slyly to-
ward the Colonel, w r ho just then was walking silently
away, in the direction of the run, as if in search of the
" Not thar, Cunnel," cried the native ; " they're inter
" ONE MORE UNFORTUNATE."
th' shed ;" and he started to lead the way to the " spirit-
" Not now, Barnes," I said, putting my hand on his
arm : " leave him alone for a little while. He is feeling
badly, and we'd better not disturb him just yet."
The native motioned me to a seat on a- rosin-barrel,
as he replied :
"Wal, he 'pears ter — thet's a fact, and he orter.
D d ef it arn't wicked to use niggers like cattle, as
" I don't think he means to ill-treat them — he's a kind-
" Wal, he ar sort o' so ; but he's left ev'ry thing ter
thet d d overseer uv his'n. I wudn't ha' trusted
him to feed my hogs."
" Hogs !" I exclaimed, laughing ; " I supposed you
didn't feed hogs in these diggins. I supposed you 1 let
'em run.' "
" I doant ; an' I've got th' tallest porky s round
" I've been told that they get a good living in the
" Wal, p'r'aps the' du jest make eout ter live thar; but
my ole 'oman likes 'em ter hum — they clean up a place
like — eat up all th' leavin's, an' give th' young nigs
suthin' ter du."
" It seems to me," I said, resuming the previous thread
of the conversation ; u that overseers are a necessity
on a large plantation."
AMONG THE PINES.
" Wal, the' ar*, an' thet's why thar orient ter be no big
plantations ; God Almighty didn't make human bein's
ter be herded togethar in th' woods like hogs. No man
orter ter hev more'n twenty on 'em — he can't look arter
no more himself, an' its agin natur ter set a feller over 'em
what hain't no int'rest in 'em, an' no feelin' fur 'em, an'
who'll drive 'em round like brutes. I never struck one
on 'em in my life, an' my ten du more'n ony fifteen th 7
" I thought they needed occasional correction. How
do you manage them without whipping ?"
"Manage them! why 'cordin' ter scriptur — do ter 'em
as I'd like ter be dun ter, ef I war a nigger. Every one
on 'em knows I'd part with my last shirt, an' live on
taters an' cow-fodder, fore I'd sell em ; an' then I give
'em Saturdays for 'emselfs — but thet's cute dealin' in me
(tho' th' pore, simple souls doant gee it), fur ye knows
the' work thet day for 'emselfs, an,' raise nigh all thar
own feed, 'cept th' beef and whiskey — an' it sort o'
makes 'em feel like folks, too, more like as ef the' war
free — the' work th' better fur it aT th' week."
/'Then you think the blacks would work better if
" In course I ,does — its agin man's natur to be a slave.
Thet lousy parson ye herd ter meetin, a Sunday, makes
slavery eout a divine institooshun, but my wife's a Bible
'oman, and she says 'taint so ; an' I'm d d ef she aru't
" Is your wife a South Carolina women ?"
"one more unfortunate."
" No, she #n' me's from th' old North — old Car'tret,
nigh on ter Newbera; an' we doant take nat'rally to
the? ^ fire-eaters."
" Have you been here long ?"
"Wal, nigh on ter six yar. I cum har with nuthin'
but a thousan' ter my back- — slapped thet inter fifteen
hun'red acres — paid it down — and then hired ten likely,
North Carolina niggers — hired 'em with th' chance uv
buyin' ef the' liked eout har. Wal, th' nigs all know'd
me, and the' sprung ter it like blazes ; so every yar I've
managed ter buy two on 'em, and now I've ten grow'd
up, and thar young 'uns ; th' still and all th' traps paid
fur, an' ef this d d secesh bis'ness hadn't a come
'long, I'd hev hed a right smart chance o' doin' well."
" I'm satisfied secession will ruin the turpentine busi-
ness ; you'll be shut up here, unable to sell your produce,
and it will go to waste."
u Thet's my 'pinion ; but I reckon I kin' manage now
witheout turpentime. I've talked it over 'long with my
nigs, and we kalkerlate, ef these ar doin's go eny fur-
der, ter tap no more trees, but clar land an' go ter raisin'
" What ! do you talk politics with your negroes ?"
"Nary a politic — but I'm d d ef th' critters doan't
larn 'em sumliow; the' knows 'bout as much uv what's
goin' on as I du — but plantin arn't politics ; its bisness,
an' they've more int'rest in it nor I hev, 'cause they've
sixteen mouths ter feed agin my four."
" I'm glad, my friend, that you treat them like anen :
AMONG TIIE PINES.
but I have supposed they were not well enough informed
to have intelligent opinions on such subjects."
" Informed ! wal, I reckon the' is ; all uv mine kin
read, an' sum on 'em kin write, too. D'ye see thet
little nig thar ?" pointing to a juvenile coal-black darky
of about six years, who was standing before the "still"
fire; a thet ar little devil kin rSad an' speak like a par-
son. He's got hold, sumhow, uv my little gal's book
o' pieces, an' larned a dozen on 'em. I make him cum
inter th' house, once in a while uv an evenin', an
speechify, an' 'twould do yer soul good ter har him, in
his shirt tail, with a old sheet wound round him fur
a toger (I've told him th' play-act ers du it so down ter
Charles'on), an' spoutin' out : 'My name am Norval ; on
de Gruntin' hills my fader feed him hogs !' The little
coon never seed a sheep, an' my wife's told him a flock's
a herd, an' he thinks c hog' sounds better'n ' flock,' so,
contra'y ter th' book, he puts in ' hogs,' and hogs, you
knows, hev ter grunt, so he gits 'em on th' ' Gruntin
hills ;" and here the kind-hearted native burst into a fit
of uproarious laughter, in which, in spite of myself, I had
"When the merriment had somewhat subsided, the
turpentine-maker called out to the little darky :
" Come here, Jim."
The young chattel ran to him with alacrity, and
wedging in between his legs, placed his little black hands,
in a free-and-easy way, on his master's knees, and, look-
ing up trustfully in his face, said :
"ONE more uotortunate."
" Wal, massa ?"
" What's yer name ?"
" Dandy Jim, massa."
"Thet arn't all— what's th' rest?"
" Dandy Jim of ole Car'lina."
" Who made ye ?"
" De good God, massa."
" No, He didn't : God doant make little nigs. He
makes none but white folks ;" said the master, laughing.
" Yas He'm do ; Missus say He'm do ; dat He make
dis nig jess like He done little Totty."
" Wal, He did, Jim. I'm d d ef He didn't, fur
nobody else ciid make ye!" replied the man, patting the
little woolly head with undisguised affection.
" Now, Jim, say th' creed fur ' de gemman.' "
The young darky then repeated the Apostle's Creed
and the Ten Commandments.
" Is thet all ye knows ?"
"No, massa, I knows a heap 'sides dat."
"Wal, say suthin' more — sum on 'em pieces thet
The little fellow then repeated with entire correctness,
and with appropriate gestures, and emphasis, though in
the genuine darky dialect — which seems to be inborn
with the pure-Southern black — Mrs. Hemans' poem :
M The boy stood on the burning deck."
"Mrs. Hemans draped in black!" I exclaimed, laughing
heartily : " How would the good lady feel, could she look
272 AMONG THE PINES.
down from where she is, and hear a little darky doing
lip her poetry in that style?"
" D d ef I doant b'lieve 'twud make her love th'
little nig like I do;" replied the corn-cracker, taking
him np on his knee as tenderly as he would have taken
up his own child.
" Tell me, my little man," I said : " who taught you
all these things ?"
u I larned 'em, myseff, sar," was the prompt reply.
"You learned them, yourself! but who taught you
to read ?"
" I larned 'em myseff, sar !"
" You couldn't have learned that yourself; didn't your
1 massa' teach you ?"
« No, sar."
" Oh ! your ( missus' did."
" No, sar !" I repeated ; then suspecting the real state
of the case, I looked him sternly in the eye, and said :
" My little man, it's wrong to tell lies — you must always
speak the truth ; now, tell me truly, did not your c mis-
sus' teach you these things ?"
" No, sar, I larned 'em myseff."
"Ye can't cum it, Stranger; ye moight roast him
over a slow fire, an' not git nary a thing eout on hhn but
thet," said- the corn-cracker, leaning forward, and break-
ing into a boisterous fit of laughter. "It's agin th'
law, an' I'm d d of I teached him. Reckon he did
" ONE MORE . UNFORTUNATE."
" I must know your wife, my friend. She's a good
"Good! ye kin bet high on thet; she's uv th' stuff
th' Lord makes angels eout on."
I had no doubt of it, and was about to say so, when
the Colonel's turpentine wagon drove up, and I remem-
bered I had left him too long alone.
The coachman was driving, and Jim sat on the wagon
"Massa K ," said the latter, getting down and
coining to me : " YvHiar am dey ?"
" In the spirit-shed."
He was turning to go there, when I called him back,
saying: " Jim, you must not see your master now; you'd
better keep out of sight for the present."
" No, massa ; de ma'am say de Cunnel take dis bery
hard, and dat I orter tell him I'se sorry for what I'se
" Well, wait a while. Let me go in first."
Accompanied by the. corn-cracker, I entered the tur-
pentine-shed. A row of spirit-barrels were ranged
along each of its sides, and two tiers occupied the centre
of the building. On these a number of loose planks
were placed, and on the planks lay the bodies of the
metif woman and her child. The Colonel was seated on
a barrel near them, with his head resting on his hands,
and his eyes fixed on the ground. He did not seem to
notice our entrance, and, passing him without speak-
ing, I stepped to the side of the dead.
AMONG THE PINES.
The woman's dress, the common linsey gown worn by
her class, was still wet, and her short, kinky, brown hair
fell in matted folds around her face. One arm hung
loosely by her side ; the other was clasped tightly around
her child, which lay as if asleep on her bosom. One ot
its small hands clung to its mother's breast, and around
its little Hps played a smile. But how shall I describe
the pale, sweet beauty of the face of the drowned girl, as
she lay there, her eyes closed, and her lips parted, as in
prayer ? Never but once have I seen on human features
the strange radiance that shone upon it, or the mingled
expression of hope, and peace, and resignation that rested
there — and that was in the long-gone time, when, stand-
ing by her bedside, I watched the passing away of one
who is now an angel in heaven !
" Come, my dear friend, let us go," I said, turning
and gently taking the Colonel by the arm, " the negroes
are here, and will take charge of the dead."
" No, no !" he replied, rising, and looking around, as
if aroused from a troubled dream; "that is for me to
do !" Then he added, after a moment's pause, " Will
you help me to get them into the wagon ?"
"Yes, I will, certainly."
He made one step toward the body of the dead girl,
then sinking down again on the barrel, covered his face
with his hands, and cried out: "My God! this is terri-
ble! Did you ever see such a look as that? It will
haunt me forever !"
" Come, my friend, rouse yourself — this is weakness ;
"one moke unfortunate."
you are tired with the long ride and excitement of the
past few days. Come, go home — I will look after them."
" ]STo, no ! I must do it. I will be a man again and
he rose and walked steadily to the dead bodies. " Is
there any one here to help ?" he asked.
Jim was standing in the door-way, and I motioned to
him to come forward. The great tears were streaming
down his face as he stepped timidly towards his master,
and said : " I'll do dis, massa, don't you trubble yerself
" It's good of you, Jim. You'll forgive me for being
so cruel to you, wont you P" said the Colonel, taking the
black by the hand.
"Forgib ye, massa! 7" war all ter blame — but ye'll
forgib me, massa — ye'll forgib me !" cried the black, with
"Yes, yes; but say no more about it. Come, let us
get Julie home."
But the poor girl was already home — home where her
sufferings and her sorrows were over, and all her tears
were wiped away forever !
We four bore away the mother and the child. A
number of blankets were in the bottom of the wagon,
and we laid the bodies carefully upon them. When all
seemed ready, the Colonel, who was still standing by
the side of the dead, turned to my new friend, and said :
"Barnes, will you loan me a pillow? I will send it
" Sartin, Cunnel and the farmer soon brought one
AMONG THE PINES.
from the house. Lifting tenderly the head of the
drowned girl, the Colonel placed it beneath her, and
smoothing back her tangled hair, he gently covered her
face with his handkerchief, as if she could still feel his
kindness, or longer cared for the pity or the love of
mortal. Yet, who knows but that her parted soul, from
the high realm to which it had soared, may not then have
looked down, have seen that act, and have forgiven him !
THE SMALL PLANTER.
THE SMALL PLANTER.
In the first moments of grief the sympathy of friends,
and the words of consolation bring no relief. How much
more harshly do such words grate on the ear when the
soul is bowed down by remorse and unavailing regret !
Then the wounded spirit finds peace nowhere but with
I saw that the Colonel would be alone, and turning to
him, as he prepared to follow the strange vehicle, which,
with its load of death, was already jolting its way over
the rough forest road, I said,
" Will you pardon me, if I remain with your friend
here for awhile ? I will be at the mansion before dark."
"Oh, certainly, my friend, come when you feel dis-
posed," he replied, and mounting his horse he was soon
out of sight among the trees.
" ]STow, Barnes," I said, shaking off the gloomy feel-
ings that had oppressed me : " come, I must see that
wife of yours, and get a glimpse of how you live ?"
" Sartin, stranger ; come in ; I'll give ye th' tallest
dinner my 'oman can scare up, an' she's sum pumkins
in th' cookin' line and he led the way to the farm-
As I turned to follow, I slipped a half-dollar into the
AMONG THE PINES.
hand of the darky who was holding my horse, and asked
him to put her again into the stable.
" I'll do dat, sar, but I karn't take dis ; massa doant
'low it nohow;" he replied, tendering me back the
" Barnes, your negroes have strange ways ; I never met
one before who'd refuse money."
" Wal, stranger, 'taint hosspetality to take money on _
yer friends, and Bill gets all he wants from me."
I took the silver and gave it to the first darky I met,
who happened to be an old centenarian belonging to
the Colonel. As I tossed it to him, he grinned out: " Ah,
massa, I'll git sum 'backer wid dis ; 'pears like I hadn't
nary a chaw in furty yar." With more than one leg in
the grave the old negro had not lost his appetite for the
w r eed — in fact, that and whiskey are the only " luxuries"
ever known to the plantation black.
As we went nearer, I took a closer survey of the
farm-house. It was, as I have said, a low, unpainted
wooden building, located in the middle of a ten acre lot.
It w r as approached by a straight walk, paved with a
mixture of sand and tar, similar to that which the
reader may have seen in the Champs Elysees. I do
not know whether my back-woods friend, or the Parisian
pavior, was the first inventor of this composition, but I
am satisfied the corn-cracker had not stolen it from the
stone-cracker. The walk was lined with fruit-bearing
shrubs, and directly in front of the house, were two
THE SMALL PLANTER.
The dwelling itself, though of a dingy brown wood-
color, was neat and inviting. It may have been forty
feet square on the ground, and was only a story and
a half high, but a projecting roof, and a front dormer-
window, relieved it from the appearance of dispropor-
tion. Its gable ends were surmounted by two enormous
brick chimneys, carried up on the outside, in the fashion
of the South, and its high, broad windows were orna-
mented with Venetian blinds. Its front door opened
directly into the "living-room," and at the threshold
we met its mistress.
As the image of that lady has still a warm place in a
pleasant corner of my memory, I will describe her. She
was about thirty years of age, and had a fresh, cheerful
face. To say that she was handsome, would not be
strictly true ; though she had that pleasant, gentle, kindly
expression that sometimes makes even a homely person
seem beautiful. But she was not homely. Her features
were regular, her hair, glossy and brown, and her eyes,
black and brilliant, and, for their color, the mildest and
softest I had ever seen. Her figure was tall, and in its
outline somewhat sharp and angular, but she had an
ease and grace about her that made one forget she was
not moulded as softly and roundly as others. She
seemed just the woman on whose bosom a tired, worn,
over-burdened man might lay his weary head, and find
rest and forgetfulness.
She wore a neat calico dress, fitting closely to the
neck, and an apron of spotless white muslin. A little
AMONG THE PINES.
lace cap perched cosily on the back of her head, hiding
a portion of her wavy, dark hair, and on her feet — a
miracle, reader, in one of her class — were stockings and
shoes! Giving me her hand — which, at the risk of
making her husband jealous, I held for a moment— she
said, making a gentle courtesy :
" Ye ar welcome, stranger."
" I sincerely thank you, madam ; I am a stranger in
She tendered me a chair, while her husband opened a
sideboard, and brought forth a box of Havanas, and a
decanter of Scuppernong. As I took the proffered seat,
he offered me the refreshments. I drank the lady's
health in the wine, but declined the cigars. Seeing this,
she remarked :
" Yer from th' North, sir ; arn't ye?"
" Yes, madam, I live in New York, but I was born
"I reckoned so; I knew ye didn't belong in Car'-
" How did you know that, madam?" I asked, laughing.
"I seed ye doan't smoke 'fore whnmin. But ye
musn't mind me ; I sort o' likes it; its a great comfut to
John, and may be it ar to ye."
" Well, I do relish a good cigar, but I never smoko
before any lady except my wife, and though she's only
' a little lower than the angels,' she does, once in awhile,
say it's a shame to make the house smell like a tobacco
THE SMALL PLANTER.
Barnes handed me the box again, and I took one. As
I was lighting it, he said :
u Ye've got a good 'oman, hev ye ?"
" There's none better ; at least, I think so."
"Wal, I'm 'zactly uv thet 'pinion 'bout mine: I
wouldn't trade her fur all this worle, an' th' best half
" Don't ye talk so, John," said the lady ; then address-
ing me, she added : " It's a good husband thet makes a
good wife, sir."
"Sometimes, madam, but not always. I've known
some of the best of wives who had miserable husbands."
"An' I'm d d ef I made my wife th' 'oman she ar',"
said the corn-cracker.
"Hush, John; ye musn't sw'ar so; ye knows how
often ye've said ye wouldn't."
" Wal, I du, an' I wont agin, by . But Sukey,
wear's th' young 'uns?"
"Out in the lot, I reckon ; but ye musn't holler'm in —
they'r all dirt."
" No matter for that, madam," I said ; " dirt is healthy
for little ones ; rolling in the mud makes them grow."
" Then our'n orter grow right smart, fur they'r in it
" How many have you, madam ?"
" Two ; a little boy, four, and a little gal, six."
"They're of interesting ages."
" Tas, the' is int'restin' ; ev'ry 'uns own chil'ren is
smart ; but the' does know a heap. John was off ter
AMONG THE PINES.
Charl'ston no great while back, an' the little boy used
ter pray ev'ry mornin' an' ev'nin' fur his fader ter cum
hum. I larned 'em thet jest so soon as the' talked, 'cause
thar's no tellin' how quick the' moight be tooken 'way.
Wal, the little feller prayed ev'ry mornin' an' ev'nin'
fur his fader ter cum back; an' John didn't cum; so
finarly he got sort o' provoked with th' Lord ; an' he
said God war aither deaf, an' couldn't har, or he war
naughty, an' wouldn't tell fader thet little Johnny want-
ed to seed 'im 4 werry mooch' " — and here the good lady
laughed pleasantly, and I joined in most heartily.
Blessed are the children that have such a mother.
Soon the husband returned with the little girl and boy,
and four young ebonies, aU bare-headed, and dressed alike,
in thick trousers, and a loose linsey shirt. Among them
was my new acquaintance, " Dandy Jim, of ole Car'lina."
The little girl came to me, and soon I had two white
children on one knee, and two black on the other, and
Dandy Jim between my legs, playing with my watch-
chain. The family made no distinction between the
colors, and as the children were all equally clean I did
not see why I should do so.
The lady renewed the conversation by remarking:
" P'raps ye reckon it's quar, sir, that we 'low our'n to
'sociate 'long with th' black chil'ren ; but we karn't help
it. On big plantations it works sorry bad, fur th' white
young 'uns larn all manner of evil from the black 'uns ;
but I've laboored ter teach our'n so one wont do no harm
THE SilALL PLANTER.
"I suppose, madam, that is one of the greatest evils
of slavery. The low black poisons the mind of the white
child, and the bad influence lasts through life."
" Yas, it's so, stranger ; an' it's the biggest keer I hev.
It often 'pears strange ter me thet our grow'd up men
arn't no wuss then the' is."
In those few words that unlettered woman had said,
what would — if men Avere but wise enough to hear and
heed the great truth which she spoke — banish slavery
from this continent forever !
After awhile the farmer told the juvenile delineator of
Mrs. Hemans, and the other poets, to give us a song;
and planting himself in the middle of the floor, the little
darky sang "Dixie," and several other negro songs,
which his master had taught him, but into which he
had introduced some amusing variations of his own.
The other children joined in the choruses ; and then Jim
danced breakdowns, " walk-along-Joes," and other darky
dances, his master accompanying him on a cracked fid-
dle, till my sides were sore with laughter, and the hostess
begged them to stop. Finally the clock struck twelve,
and the farmer, going to the door, gave a long, loud blast
on a cow's horn. In about five minutes one after another
of the field hands came in, till the whole ten had seated
themselves on the verandah. Each carried a bowl, a tin-
cup, or a gourd, into which my host — who soon emerged
from a back room* with a pail of whiskey in his hand —
* The whiskey was kept in a back room, above ground, because the dwelling
Had no cellar. The fluid was kept safely, under lock and key, and the farmer ac-
AMONG THE PINES.
poured a gill of the beverage. This was the day's al-
lowance, and the farmer, in answer to a question of
mine, told me he thought negroes were healthier, and
worked better for a small quantity of alcohol daily.
"The' work hard, and salt feed doant set 'em up 'nough,"
was his remark.
Meanwhile the hostess busied herself with preparations
for dinner, and it was soon spread on a bright cherry
table, covered by a spotless white cloth. The little
darkies had scattered to the several cabins, and we soon
sat down to as good a meal as I ever ate at 'the South.
We were waited on by a tidy negro woman, neatly
clad in a calico gown, with shoes on her feet, and a flam-
ing red and yellow 'kerchief on her head. This last was
worn in the form of a turban, and one end escaping from
behind, and hanging down her back, it looked for all the
world like a flag hung out from a top turret. Observing
it, my host said :
\f Aggy — showin' yer colors ? Ye'r Union gal — hey?"
"Yas, I is dat, massa; Union ter de back bone;" re-
sponded the negress, grinning widely.
"All th' Union ye knows on," replied the master,
winking slyly at me, " is th' union yer goin' ter hitch up
'long with black Cale over ter Squire Taylor's."
"No, 'taint, massa; takes more'n tu ter make de
counted for that, by saying that his negroes would steal nothing but whiskey.
Few country houses at the South have a cellar — that apartment deemed so es-
sential by Northern housekeepers. The intervening space between the ground
and the floor is there left open, to allow of a free circulation of air.
THE SMALL PLANTER.
"Yas, I knows — it gin'rally takes ten or a dozen:
reckon it'll take a dozen with ye."
M John, ye musn't talk so ter th' sarvents ; it spiles
*em," said his wife.
" No it doant — do it, Aggy ?"
"Lor', missus, I doant keer what massa say; but I
doant leff no oder man run on so ter me !"
" No more'n ye 'doant, gal ! only Cale."
" Nor him, massa ; I makes him stan' roun', Zreckon."
u I reckon ye du ; ye wudn't be yer niassa's gal ef ye
When the meal was over, I visited, with my host, the
negro houses. The hour allowed for dinner* was about
expiring, and the darkies w r ere preparing to return to
the field. Entering one of the cabins, where were two
stout negro men and a woman, my host said to them,
with a perfectly serious face :
" Har, boys, I've fetched ye a live Yankee ab'lishener;
now, luk at 'im all roun'. Did ye ever see sech a critter?"
" Doant see nufiin' quar in dat gemman, massa," re-
plied one of the blacks. "Him 'pears like bery nice
gemman ; doant 'pear like ab'lishener ;" and he laughed,
and scraped his head in the manner peculiar to the negro,
as he added: " kinder reckon he wudn't be har ef he war
one of dem"
" What der ye knows 'bout th' ab'lisheners ? Ye never
seed one — what d'ye 'spose the' luk like?"
* No regular dinner-hour is allowed the blacks on most turpentine plantations.
Their food i3 usually either taken with them to the woods, or carried thereby
boose servants, at stated times.
AMONG THE PINES.
<c Dey say dey luk likes de bery ole debil, massi , but
reckon taint so."
" Wal, the' doant ; the' luk wuss then thet : tbey'm
bottled up thunder an' lightnin', an' ef the' cum down
liar, they'll chaw ye all ter hash."
" I reckon !" replied the darky, manipulating his wool,
and distending his face into a decidedly incredulous grin.
" What do you tell them such things for ?" I asked,
" Lor, bless ye, stranger, the' knows th' ab'lisheners
ar thar friends, jest so well as ye du ; and so fur as thet
goes, d d ef the' doan't know I'm one on 'em myseff,
fur I tells 'em, ef the' want to put, the' kin put, an' I'll
throw thar trav'lin 'spences inter th' bargin. Doan't I
tell ye thet, Lazarus."
"Yas, massa, but none ob massa's nigs am gwine ter
put — lesswise, not so long as you an' de good missus,
am 'bove groun'."
The darky's name struck me as peculiar, and I asked
him w r here he got it.
"'TainH my name, sar ; but you see, sar, w'en massa
fuss hire me ob ole Capt'in , up dar ter Newbern-
way, I war sort o' sorry like — hadn't no bery good
cloes — an' massa, he den call me Lazarus, 'case he say I
war all ober rags and holes, an' it hab sort o' stuck ter
me eber sense. I war a'mighty bad off 'fore dat, but
w'en I cum down har I gets inter Abr'am's buzzum, I
does ;" and here the darky actually reeled on his seat
THE SMALL PLANTER.
" Is this woman jour wife ?" I asked.
" No, sar ; my wife 'longs to Cunnel J— — ; dat am my
new wife — my ole wife am up dar whar I cum from !"
" What ! have you two wives ?"
" Yas, massa, I'se two."
u But that's contrary to Scripture."
" No, sar; de Cunnel say 'tain't. He say in Scriptur'
dey hab a heap ob' 'em, and dat niggers kin hab jess so
many as dey likes — a hun'red ef dey want ter."
"Does the Colonel teach that to his negroes?" I
asked, turning to the native.
" Yas, I reckon he do — an' sits 'em th' 'zample, too,"
he replied, laughing; "but th' old sinner knows better'n
thet ; he kin read."
" Do you find that in the Bible, Lazarus ?"
" Yas, massa ; whar I reads it. Dat's whar it tell
*bout David and Sol'mon and all dem — dey hab a heap
ob wives. A pore ole darky karn't hab 'nuffin 'sides
dem, an' he orter be 'low'd jess so many as he likes."
Laughing at the reasoning of the negro, I asked :
"How would you like it, if your wife over at Colonel
J 's, had as many husbands as she liked ?"
" Wal, I couldn't fine no fault, massa : an' I s'pose
she do ; dough I doan't knows it, 'case I'se dar only
" Have you any children ?"
" Yas, sar ; I'se free 'longin' ter de Cunnel, an' four
or five — I doant 'zactly know — up ter hum ; but dey^se
AMONG THE PINES.
" Is your wife, up there, married again ?"
u Yas, massa, she got anoder man jess w'en I cum
'way ; har ole massa make har do it."
We then left the cabin, and when out of hearing of
the blacks, I said to the corn-cracker : " That may he,
Scripture doctrine, but I have not been taught so !"
" Scriptur or no Scriptur, stranger, it's d d hea-
thenism," replied the farmer, who, take him all in all,
is a superior specimen of the class of small-planters
at the South ; and yet, seeing polygamy practised by
his own slaves, he made no effort to prevent it. He
told me that if he should object to his darky cohabiting
with the Colonel's negress, it would be regarded as un-
neighborly, and secure him the enmity of the whole
district ! And still we are told that slavery is a Divine
After this, we strolled off into the woods, where the
hands were at work. They were all stout, healthy
and happy-looking, and in answer to my comments on
their appearance, the native said that the negroes on the
turpentine farms are always stronger and longer-lived,
than those on the rice and cotton-fields. Unless carried
off by the fevers incident to the climate, they generally
reach a good old age, while the rice-negro seldom lives
to be over forty, and the cotton-slave very rarely attains
sixty. Cotton-growing, however, my host thought, is
not, in itself, much more unhealthy than turpentine-
gathering, though cotton-hands work in the sun, while
the turpentine slaves labor altogether in the shade*
THE SMALL PLANTER.
" But," lie said, " the' work 'em harder nor we does, an'
doan't feed 'em so well. We give our'n meat and
whiskey ev'ry day, but them articles is skarse 'mong
th' cotton blacks, an' th' rice niggers never get 'em
excep' ter Chris'mas time, an' thet cums but oust a
" Do you think the white could labor as well as the
black, on the rice and cotton-fields ?" I asked.
"Yas, an' better — better onywhar; but, in coorse,
'tain't natur' fur black nor white ter stand long a workin'
in th' mud and water up ter thar knees ; sech work
wud kill off th' very devil arter a while. But th' white
kin stand it longer nor the black, and its' 'cordin' ter
reason that he shud ; fur, I reckon, stranger, that the
sperit and pluck uv a man hev a durned sight ter du
with work. They'll hole a man up when he's clean
down, an' how kin we expec' thet the pore nig', who's
nary a thing ter work fur, an' who's been kept under
an' 'bused ever sense Adam was a young un' — how kin
we expec' he'll work like men thet own 'emselfs, an'
whose faders hev been free ever sense creation? 1
reckon that the parient has a heap ter du with makin'
th' chile. He puts the sperit inter 'im : doan't we see
it in hosses an' critters an' sech like ? It mayn't crap
eout ter onst, but it's shore ter in th' long run, and
thet's th' why th' black hain't no smarter nor he is.
He's been a-ground down an' kept under fur so long
thet it '11 take more'n 'un gin' ration ter bring him up.
'Tain't his fault thet he's no more sperit, an' p'raps
AMONG THE PINES.
'tain't ourn — thet is, them on us as uses 'em right — but
it war the fault uv yer fader an' mine — yer fader stole
'em, and mine bought 'em, an' the' both made cattle uv:
" But I had supposed the black was better fitted by
nature for hard labor, in a hot climate, than the white ?"
" Wal, he arn't, an' I knows it. Th' d d parsons
an' pol'tishuns say thet, but 'tain't so. I kin do half
agin more work in a day then th' best nig' I've got, an
I've dun it, tu, time an' agin, an' it didn't hurt me
nother. Ye knows ef a man hev a wife and young 'uns
'pendin' on him, an' arn't much 'forehanded, he'll work
like th' devil. I've dun it, and ye hev ef ye war ever
put ter it ; but th T nig's, why the' hain't got no wives
and young 'uns ter work fur — the law doan't 'low 'em
ter hev any — the' hain't nary a thing but thar carcasses,
an' them's thar masters'."
" You^ay a man works better for being free; then
you must think 'twould be well to free the negroes ?"
" In coorse, I does. Jest luk at them nig's o' mine ;
they're ter all 'tents an' purposes free, 'case I use 'em
like men, an' the' knows the' kin go whenever the'
d d please. See how the' work — why, one on 'em
does half as much agin as ony hard-driv' nigger in
" What would you do with them, if they were really
" Du with 'em ? why, hire 'em, an' make twice as
much eout on 'em as I does now."
THE SMALL PLANTER.
" But I don't think the two races were meant to live
" No more'n the' warn't. But 'tain't thar fault thet
they's har. We hain't no right ter send 'em off. We
orter stand by our'n an' our fader s' doin's. The nig'
keers more fur his hum, so durned pore -as it ar', then
ye or I does fur our'n. I'd pack sech off ter Libraria
or th' devil, as wanted ter go, but I'd hev no 'pulsion
"Why, my good friend, you're half-brother to Gar-
rison. You don't talk to your neighbors in this way ?"
" Wal, I doan't.;" he replied, laughing. "Ef I dun
it, they'd treat me to a coat uv tar, and ride me out uv
th' deestrict raather sudden, I reckon ; but yer a Nuth-
ener, an' the' all take nat' rally ter freedum, excep 5
th' d d dough-faces, an' ye aren't one on 'em, I'll
" Well, I'm not. Do many of your neighbors think
as you do ?"
"Reckon not many round har; but up in Cart'ret,
whar I cum from, heaps on 'em do, though the' darn't
By this time we had reached the still, and, directing
his attention to the enormous quantity of rosin that had
been run into the pit which I have spoken of, I asked
him why he threw so much valuable material away.
" Wal, 'tain't wuth nothin' har. Thet's th' common,
an' it won't bring in York, now, more'n a dollar forty-
five. It costs a dollar an' two bits ter get it thar, and
AMONG THE PINES.
pay fur sellin' on it, an' th' barrTs wuth th' difF'rence
I doan't ship nuthin wuss nor No. 2."
" What is No. 2 ?"
He took the head from one of the barrels, and with
an adze cut out a small piece, then handing me the speci-
men, replied :
" Now hole thet up ter th' sun. Ye'll see though its
yaller, it's clean and clar. Thet's good No. 2, what brings
now two dollars and two bits, in York, an' pays me
'bout a dollar a barr'l, its got eout o' second yar dip, an'
as it comes eout uv th' still, is run through thet ar strainer,'
pointing to a coarse wire seive that lay near. u Th'
common rosum, thet th' still's runnin' on now, is made
eout on th' yaller dip — thet's th' kine d' turpentine thet
runs from' th' tree arter two yars' tappin' — we call it
yallar dip ca'se it's allers dark. We doant strain com-
mon 't all, an' it's full uv chips and dirt. It's low now, but
ef it shud ever git up, I'd tap thet ar' heap, barr'l it up,
run a little fresh stilled inter it, an' 'twould be a'most so
good as new."
" Then it is injured by being in the ground."
" Not much ; it's jest as good fur ev'rything but mak-
in' ile, puttin it in the 'arth sort o' takes th' sap eout on
it, an' th' sap's th' ile. Natur' sucks thet eout, I s'pose,
ter make th' trees grow — I expec' my bones 'ill fodder
'em one on these days."
" Jiosin is put to very many uses ?"
" Yes, but common's used mainly for ile and soap, th'
Yankees put it inter hard yaller soap, 'case it makes it
THE SMALL PLANTER.
*veigh, an' yer folks is up ter them doin's," and he looked
at me and gave a sly laugh. I could not deny the " hard"
impeachment, and said nothing. Taking a specimen of
very clear light-colored rosin from a shelf in the still-
house, I asked him what that quality was worth.
" Thet ar brought seven dollars, for two hundred an'
eighty pounds, in York, airly this yar. It's th' very best
No. 1 ; an' its hard ter make, 'case ef th' still gets over-
het it turns it a tinge. Thet sort is run through two
sieves, the coarse 'un, an' thet ar," pointing to another
wire strainer, the meshes of which were as fine as those
of the flour sieve used by housewives.
" Do your seven field hands produce enough i dip' to
keep your still a running ?"
" No, I buys th' rest uv my naboors who haint no
stills; an' th' Cunnel's down on- me 'case I pay 'em
more'n he will; but I go on Franklin's princerpel: 'a
nimble sixpence's better'n a slow shillin.' A great ole
feller thet, warn't he ? I've got his life."
" And you practice on his precepts ; that's the reason
you've got on so well."
" Yas, thet, an' hard knocks. The best o' doctrin's
arn't wuth a d n ef ye doan't work on 'em."
" That is true."
We shortly afterward went to the house, and there I
passed several hours in conversation with my new friend
and his excellent wife. The lady, after a while, showed
me over the building. It was well-built, well-arranged,
and had many conveniences I did not expect to find in a
AMONG THE PINES.
back-woods dwelling. She told me its timbers and
covering were of well-seasoned yellow pine — which will
last for centuries — and that it was built by a Yankee car-
penter, whom they had " 'ported" from Charleston, pay-
ing his fare, and giving him his living, and two dollars
and a half a day. It had cost as near as she " cud reckon,
'bout two thousan' dollars."
It was five o'clock, when, shaking them warmly by the
hand, I bade my pleasant friends "good-bye," and
mounting my horse rode off to the Colonel's.
THE BURIAL OF " JTJLE."
THE BURIAL OF "JULE."
The family were at supper when I returned to the
mansion, and, entering the room, I took my accustomed
place at the table. None present seemed disposed to
conversation. The little that was said was spoken in a
low, subdued tone, and no allusion was made to the
startling event of the day. At last the octoroon woman
asked me if I had met Mrs. Barnes at the farmer's.
" Yes," I replied, " and I was greatly pleased with her.
She seems one of those rare women who would lend
grace to even the lowest station."
" She is a rare woman ; a true, sincere Christian.
Every one loves her ; but few know all her worth ; only
those do who have gone to her in sorrow and trial, as — "
* and her voice trembled, and her eyes moistened — " as I
And so that poor, outcast, despised, dishonored
woman, scorned and cast-off by all the world, had
found one sympathizing, pitying friend. Truly, "He
tempers \j^e wind to the shorn lamb."
When the meal was over, all but Madam P re
tired to the library. Tommy and I fell to reading, but
the Colonel shortly rose and continued pacing up and
AMONG THE PINES.
down the apartment till the clock sounded eight. The
lady then entered, and said to him.
"The negroes are ready, David; will you go, Mr.
"I think not, madam," I replied ; "at least not now."
I continued reading, for a time, when, tiring of the
book, I laid it down, and followed them to the little
The grave of Sam was open, and the plantation blacks
were gathered around it. In the centre of the group,
and at the head of the rude coffin, the Colonel was
seated, and near him the octoroon woman and her son.
The old preacher was speaking.
" My chil'ren," he said : " she hab gone ter Him, wid
har chile : gone up dar, whar dey doan't sorrer no more,
whar dey doan't weep no more, whar all tears am wiped
from dar eyes foreber. I knows she lay han's on har-
6eff, and dat, my chil'ren, am whot none ob us shud do,
'case we'm de Lord's ; He put us har, an' he'll take us
'way when we's fru wid our work, not afore. We hab
no right ter gwo afore. Pore Juley did — but p'raps
she cudn't help it. P'raps de great sorrer war so big in
har heart, dat she cudn't fine restnowhar but in de cole,
dark riber. P'raps she warn't ter blame — p'raps," and
here his eyes filled : " p'raps ole Pomp war all ter blame,
fur I tole har, my chil'ren" — he could say no »ore, and
sinking down on a rude seat, he covered his face, and
sobbed audibly. Even the Colonel's strong frame heaved
with emotion, and not a dry eye was near. After a time
THE BURIAL OF " JTJLE."
the old man rose again, and with streaming eyes, and
upturned face., continued :
"Dars One up dar, my chiTren, dat say : 'Come unter
Me, all ye dat am a weary an' a heaby laden, an' I will gib
you ress.' He, de good Lord, He say dat ; and p'raps
Juley hard Him say it, an' dat make liar gwo." Again
his voice failed, and he sank down, weeping and moaning
as if his heart would break.
A pause followed, when the Colonel rose, and aided
by Jim and two other blacks, with Ins own hands nailed
down the lid, and lowered the rude coffin into the ground.
Then the earth was thrown upon it, and then the long,
low chant which the negroes raise over the dead, ming-
ling now with sobs and moans, and breaking into a
strange wild wail, went up among the pines, and floating
off on the still night air, echoed through the dark
woods, till it sounded like music from the grave. I
have been in the chamber of the dying; I have seen
the young and the beautiful laid away in the earth ; but
I never felt the solemn awfulness of death, as I did,
when, in the stillness and darkness of night, I listened
to the wild grief of that negro group, and saw the
bodies of that slave mother and her child, lowered to
their everlasting rest by the side of Sam.
AMONG THE PINES.
The morning broke bright and mellow with the rays
of the winter sun, which in Carolina lends the warmth
of October to the chills of January, when, with my port-
manteau strapped, and my thin overcoat on my arm, I
gave my last "God bless you" to the octoroon woman,
and turned my face toward home.
Jim shouted "all ready," the driver cracked his whip,
and we were on our way to Georgetown.
The recent rains had hardened the roads, the bridges
were repaired, and we were whirled rapidly forward,
and, at one o'clock, reached Bucksville. There we met
a cordial welcome, and remained to dinner. Our host
pressed us to pass the night at his house, but the Colonel
had business with one of his secession friends residing
down the road — my wayside acquaintance, Colonel
A , and desired to stay overnight with him. At
three o'clock, bidding a kindly farewell to Captain B
and his excellent family, we were again on ou^way.
The sun was just sinking among the western pines,
when we turned into a broad avenue, lined with stately
old trees, and rode up to the door- way of the rice-
planter. It was a large, square, dingy old house, seated
on a gentle knoll, a short half-mile from the river, along
whose banks stretched the rice-fields. We entered, and
were soon welcomed by its proprietor.
He received my friend warmly, and gave me a courte-
ous greeting, remarking, when I mentioned that I was
homeward bound, that it was wise to go. " Things are
very unsettled ; there's no telling what a day may bring
forth ; feeling is running very high, and a Northern
man, whatever his principles, is not safe here. By-the-
way," he added, "did you not meet with some little
obstruction at Conwayboro', on your way up ?"
"Yes, I did ; a person there ordered me back, but
when things began to look serious, Scipio, the negro
whom you saw with me, got me out of the hobble."
" Didn't he tell the gentleman that you were a par-
ticular friend of mine, and had met me by appointment
at Captain B 's ?" he asked, smiling.
"I believe he did, sir; but I assure you, I said
nothing of the kind, and I think the black should not be
blamed, under the circumstances."
" Oh, no ; I don't blame him. I think he did a smart
thing. He might have said you were my grandmother,
if it would have served you, for that low fellow is as
fractious as the devil, and dead sure on the? trigger."
"You are very good, sir," I replied: "how did you
hear of it ?"
" A day or two afterward, B passtxl here on his
way to Georgetown. I had been riding out, an4 hap-
AMONG THE PINES.
pened to be at the head of my avenue when he was
going by. He stopped, and asked if I knew you. Not
knowing, then, the circumstances, I said that I had met
you casually at Bucksville, but had no particular ac-
quaintance with you. He rode on, saying nothing
further. The next morning, I had occasion to go to
Georgetown, and at Mr. Fraser's office, accidentally
heard that Scip — who is well-known and universally liked
there — was to have a public whipping that evening.
Something prompted me to inquire into it, and I was
told that he had been charged by B with shilling
a well-known abolitionist at Conwayboro' — a man who
was going through the up-country, distributing such
damnable publications as the New York Independent
and Tribune. I knew, of course, it referred to you, and
that it wasn't true. I went to Scip and got the facts,
and by stretching the truth a little, finally got him
off. There was a slight discrepancy between my two
accounts of you" (and here he laughed heartily), "and
B , when we were before the Justice, remarked on it,
and came d d near calling me a liar. It was lucky
he didn't, for if he had, he'd have gone to h — 1 before
the place was hot enough for him.''
" I cannot tell you, my dear sir, how grateful I am to
you for this. It would have pained me more than I can
express, if Scip had suffered for doing a disinterested
kindness to me."
Early in the morning we were again on our way, and
Swelve o'clock found us seated at a dinner of bacon,
corn-bread, and waffles, in the " first hotel" of George-
town. The Charleston boat was to leave at three o'clock;
and, as soon as dinner was over, I sallied out to find Scip.
After a half-hour's search I found him on u Shackelford's
wharf," engaged in loading a schooner bound for New
York with a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
He was delighted to see me, and when-I had told him
I was going home, and might never see him again, I took
his hand warmly in mine, and said :
" Scip, I have heard of the disgrace that was near
being put upon you on my account, and I feel deeply
the disinterested service you did to me ; now, I can not
go away without doing something for you — showing you
in some way that I appreciate and like you."
" I like's you, massa," he replied, the tears coming to
his eyes: "I tuk ter you de bery fuss day I seed you,
'case, I s'pose," and he wrung my hand till it ached :
" you pitied de pore brack man. But you karnt do nuf-
fin fur me, massa ; I doant want nuffin ; I doant want
ter leab har, 'case de Lord dat put me har, arn't willin'
I shud gwo. But you kin do suflin, massa, fur de pore
brack man, — an' dat '11 be doin' it fur me, 'case my heart
am all in dat. You kin tell dem folks up dar, whar you
lib, massa, dat we'm not like de brutes, as dey tink we is.
Dat we's got souls, an' telligence, an' feelin's, an' am men
like demselfs. You kin tell 'em, too, massa, — 'case
you's edication, and kin talk — how de pore wite man
'am kep' down har ; how he'm ragged, an' starvin', an'
ob no account, 'case de brack man am a slave. How der
AMONG THE PINES.
ehil'ren can't get no schulein', how eben de grow'd up
ones doan't know nuffin — not eben so much as de pore
brack slave, 'case de 'stockracy wan't dar votes, an cudn't
get 'em ef dey 'low'd 'em laming. Ef your folks know'd
all de trufh — ef dey know'd how both de brack an' de
pore w'ite man, am on de groun', and can't git up, ob
demselfs — dey'd do suffix — dey'd break de Constertu-
tion — dey'd do suffin! ter help us. I doant want no
one hurted, I doant want no one wronged; but jess
tink ob it, massa, four million ob bracks, and nigh so
many pore wites, wid de bressed gospil shinin' down on
'em, an' dey not knowin' on it. All dem — ebry one of
'em — made in de image ob de great God, an' dey driven
roun', an' 'bused wuss dan de brutes. Tou's seed dis,
massa, wid your own eyes, an' you kin tell 'em on it ;
an' you will tell 'em on it, massa ;" and again he took
my hand while the tears rolled down his cheeks ; " an'
Scip will bress you fur it, massa; wid his bery lass breaf
he'll bress you ; an' de good Lord will bress you, too,
massa ; He will foreber bress you, fur He'm on de side
ob de pore, an' de 'flicted : His own book say dat, an' it
am true, I knows it, fur I feels it harf and he laid his
hand on his heart, and was silent.
I could not speak for a moment. When I mastered
my feelings, I said, "I will do it Scip ; as God gives mo
strength, I will?
Reader, I am keeping my word.
This is not a work of fiction. It is a record of facts,
and therefore the reader will not expect me to dispose
of its various characters on artistic principles — that is,
lay them away in one of those final receptacles for the
creations of the romancer — the grave and matrimony.
Death has been among them, but nearly all are yet do-
ing their work in this breathing, busy world.
The characters I have introduced are real. They are
not drawn with the pencil of fancy, nor, I trust, colored
with the tints of prejudice. The scenes I have described
are true. I have taken some liberties with the names of
persons and places, and, in a few instances, altered dates ;
but the events themselves occurred under my own obser-
vation. No c ne acquainted with the section of country
I have described, or familiar with the characters I have
delineated, will question this statement. Lest some one
who has not seen the slave and the poor white man of
the South, as he actually is, should deem my picture
overdrawn, I will say that " the half has not been told !"
If the whole were related — if the Southern system, in
all its naked ugliness, were fully exposed — the truth
AMONG THE PJJSiLo.
would read like fiction, and the baldest relation of fact
like the wildest dream of romance.
The overseer was never taken. A letter which I re-
ceived from Colonel J -, shortly prior to the stop-
page of the mails, informed me that Moye had succeeded
in crossing the mountains into Tennessee, where, in an in-
terior town, he disposed of the horse, and then made his
way by an inland route to the free states. The horse
the Colonel had recovered, but the overseer he never
expected to see. Moye is now, no doubt, somewhere in
the North, and is probably at this present writing a
zealous Union man, of somewhat the same " stripe" as
the conductors of the New York Herald and the Boston
I have not heard directly from Scipio, but one day
last July, after a long search, I found on one of the
wharves of" South Street, a coasting captain, who knew
him well, and who had seen him the month previous at
Georgetown. He was at that time pursuing his usual
avocations, and was as much respected and trusted, as
when I met him.
A few days after the tidings of the fall of Sumter
were received in New York, and when I had witnessed
the spontaneous and universal uprising of the North,
which followed that event, I dispatched letters to several
of my Southern friends, giving them as near as I could
an account of the true state of feeling here, and repre-
senting the utter madness of the course the South was
pursuing. One of these letters went to my Union ac-
quaintance whom I have called, in the preceding pages,
" Andy Jones."
He promptly replied, and a pretty regular correspond-
ence ensued between us, which has continued, at inter-
vals, even since the suspension of intercourse between
the North and the South.
Andy has stood firmly and nobly by the old flag. At
the risk of every thing, he has boldly expressed his sen-
timents everywhere. With his life in his hand, and — a
revolver in each of his breeches-pockets, he walked the
streets of Wilmington when the secession fever was at
its height, openly proclaiming his undying loyalty to
the Union, and "no man dared gainsay him."
But with all his patriotism, Andy keeps a bright eye
on the " main chance." Like his brother, the Northern
Yankee, whom he somewhat resembles and greatly ad-
mires, he never omits an opportunity of " turning an
honest penny." In defiance of custom-house regulations,
and of our strict blockade, he has carried on a more or
less regular traffic with New York and Boston (via
Halifax and other neutral ports), ever since North Caro-
lina seceded. His turpentine — while it was still his
property — has been sold in the New York market,
under the very eyes of the government officials — and,
honest reader, I have known of it.
By various roundabout means, I have recently re-
ceived letters from him. His last, dated in April, and
brought to a neutral port by a shipmaster whom he
AMONG THE PINES.
implicitly trusts, has reached me since the previous
chapters were written. It covers, six pages of foolscap,
and is written in defiance of all grammatical and ortho-
graphical principles ; but as it conveys important intelli-
gence, in regard to some of the persons mentioned in
this narrative, I will transcribe a portion of it.
It gave me the melancholy tidings of the death of
Colonel J . He had joined the Confederate army,
and fell, bravely meeting a charge of the Massachusetts
troops, at Roanoke.
On receiving the news of his friend's death, Andy
rode over to the plantation, and found Madam P ■
plunged in the deepest grief. While he was there a
letter arrived from Charleston, with intelligence of the
dangerous illness of her son. This second blow crushed
her. For several days she was delirious, and her life
despaired of; but throughout the whole the noble corn-
cracker, neglecting every thing, remained beside her.
When she returned to herself, and had in a measure
recovered her strength, she learned that the Colonel had
left no will ; that she was still a slave ; and soon to be
sold, with the rest of the Colonel's personal property,
according to law.
This is what Andy writes about the affair. I give the
letter as he wrote it, merely correcting the punctuation,
and enough of the spelling, to make it intelligible.
" W'en I hard thet th' Cunel hadent leff no wil, I was
hard put what ter dew ; but arter thinkin' on it over a
spell, I knowed shede har on it sumhow ; so I 'eluded to
tel har miseff. She tuk on d d hard at fast, but artei
a bit, grew more calm like, and then she sed it war God's
wil, an' she wudent komplane. Ye nows I've got a wife,
but wen the ma'am sed thet, she luk'd so like an angel,
thet d d eff I cud help puttin' my arms round har,
an' hugin' on har, till she a'moste screeched. Wal, I
toled har, Id stan' by har eff evrithing w^nt ter h — 1 —
an I wil, by .
"I made up mi minde to onst, what ter dew. It war
darned harde work tur bee 'way from hum jess then, but
I war in fur it ; soe I put ter Charleston, ter see th'
Cunel's 'oman. Wal, I seed har, an' I toled har how th'
ma'am felte, an' how mutch shede dim at makein' th'
Cunel's money — (she made nigh th' hul on it, 'case he
war alers keerles, an' tuk no 'count uv things ; eff tadent
ben fur thet, hede made a wil,) an' I axed har ter see
thet the ma'am had free papers ter onst. An' whot der
ye 'spoze she sed ? Nuthin, by 'cept she dident
no nuthin' 'bout bisniss, an' leff all uv sech things ter har
loryer. "Wal, then I went ter him — he ar one on them
slick, ily, seceshun houn's, who'd sell thar soles fur a
kountterfit dollar — an' he toled me, th' 'ministratur had-
ent sot yit, an' he cudent dew nuthin til he hed. Ses I :
4 ye mean th' 'ooman's got ter gwo ter th' hi'est bider ?'
c Yas,' he sed, 'the Cunel's got dets, an' the've got ter
bee pade, an' th' persoonel prop'ty muste bee sold ter
dew it.' Then I sed, 'twud bee sum time fore thet war
dun, an' the 'ooman's 'most ded an' uv no use now ;
4 what'll ye hire har tur me fur.' He sed a hun'red for
AMONG THE PINES.
sicks months. I planked down the money ter onst, an*
" I war bilin' over, but it sumhow cum inter my hed
thet the Cunnel's 'ooman cudn't bee all stun ; so I gose
thar agin ; an' I toled har what the loryer sed, an' made a
reg'lar stump-'peal tew har bettar natur. I axed har
eff she'd leff the 'ooman who'd made har husban's fortun,
who war the muther ov his chiTren, who fur twenty
yar, hed nussed him in sickness, an' cheered him in
healtf ; ef shede let thet 'ooman, bee auckyund off ter
th' hi'est bider. I axed al thet, an' what der ye think she
sed, Why jest this. c / doant no nuthin' bout it, Mis-
ter Jones. Ye raily must talke ter mi loryer; them
maters I leaves 'tirely ter him.' Then, I sed, I 'spozed
the niggers war ter bee advertist. ' O, yas !' she sed,
(an' ye see, she know'd a d d site 'bout thet), 1 all
on 'em muss be solde, 'case, ye knows, I never did luv
the kuntry, — 'sides J cud'ent karry on the plantashun,
no how.' Then, sed I:/ the Orlean's traders 'ill be
thar — an' she wunt sell fur but one use, fur she's han-
sum yit ; an' ma'am, ye wunt leff a 'ooman as white as
you is, who fur twenty yar, hes ben a tru an' fatheful
wife tar yer own ded husban,' (I shudn't hev put thet in,
but d d ef I cud help it,) ye wunt put har up on the
block, an' hev har struck down ter the hi'est bider, ter
bee made a d d on?'
Wal, I s'pose she hadent forgot thet, fur more'n
twelve yar, the Cunnel hed luv'd t'other 'ooman, an'
onely liked har ; fur w'en I sed thet, har ize snapped
like h — 1, an' she screetched eout thet she dident 'low
no sech wurds in har hous', an' ordurd me ter leave.
Mi'tey sqeemish thet, warn't it ? bein' as shede ben fur
so mony yar the Cunnel's , an' th' tuther one his
" Wal, I did leav' ; but I left a piece of mi mind
a-hind. I toled har I'de buy that ar 'ooman ef she cost
all I war wuth and I had ter pawne my sole ter git the
money ; an' I added, jess by way ov sweet'nin' the pill,
thet I ow'd all I hed ter har husband, an' dident furget
my debts ef she did herhi, an' ef his own wife disgraced
him, I'd be d d ef Zwud.
" Wal, I've got th' ma'am an' har boy ter hum, an'
my 'ooman hes tuk ter har a heep. I doant no w'en the
sale's ter cum off, but ye may bet hi' on my beein' thar ;
an' I'll buy har ef I hev ter go my hull pile on har, an'
borrer th' money fur ole Pomp. But he'll go cheap,
'case the Cunnel's deth nigh dun him up. It clean
killed Ante Lucey. She never held her hed up arter she
heerd 1 Masser Davy' war dead, fur she sot har vary life
on him. Don't ye fele consarned 'bout the ma'am — I
knows ye sot hi' on har — I'll buy har, shore. Thet
an' deth ar th' onely things thet I knows on, in this
wurld, jess now, that ar sahtin."
Such is Andy's letter. Mis-spelled and profane though
it be, I would not alter a word or a syllable of it. It
deserves to be written in characters of gold, and hung
up in the sky, where it might be read by all the world.
And it is written in the sky — in the great record-book—
310 AMONG THE PINES.
and it will be read when you and I, reader, meet the
assembled universe, to give account of what we have
done and written. God grant that our record may show
some such deed as that !